Preservation: How and What? Part 3

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Read Part 1 and Part 2.

Does the Bible teach that God’s people will always be able to point to a particular text1 of the Bible and know that it is the word-perfect, preserved text? Those who believe a particular choice of translations is “the biblically right” option, tend to answer (passionately) in the affirmative. But many who use other translations or simply prefer the KJV are not so sure. Who is right?

Points of agreement

Nearly all involved in the controversy are agreed that God has preserved His Word for us in some sense. Nearly all are agreed as well that Scripture teaches God will preserve forever, somewhere and in some form, every one of the words He inspired and that some believers will always have access to Scripture in some form. God’s ability to use imperfect sinners to perfectly preserve His Word is also not in dispute, nor is the fact that we should accept what the Bible reveals to be true regardless of the claims of the “science of textual criticism” or any “high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God” (2 Cor. 10:5, KJV).

It is also agreed that the Bible depicts human beings as both finite and fallen and prone to error in what they do, but that God overcame human fallibility when He inspired “holy men of God” to record the Scriptures (2 Pet. 1:21). This is where we come to a major fork in the road. Though we do not have equally direct and clear statements to the effect that God also ensures word-perfect preservation (see part 2), many believe a compelling case for this kind of preservation can be derived from less direct passages. The book Thou Shalt Keep Them (TSKT) is an important example.

The next two articles in this series aims to examine all of the relevant biblical arguments in TSKT to see whether we have sufficient grounds for believing God has continuously overcome the limitations of His servants so that they maintain a word-perfect, preserved text of the Bible.

Passages handled previously

TSKT has chapters devoted to several of the seven popular preservation texts I examined earlier in this series: Psalm 12:6-7 (TSKT, ch. 1), Matthew 5:17-18 (TSKT, ch. 3), Matthew 24:35 (TSKT, ch. 5) and 1 Peter 1:23-25 (TSKT, ch. 7). These passages clearly affirm a concept of preservation, but do not tell us to expect a word-perfect text to be available to every generation.

Though all of these passages would be consistent with the idea that we will always be able to access word-perfect copies of Scripture, “consistent with” is not strong evidence that God has chosen to overcome the human fallibility the Bible clearly teaches us to expect.

Other important passages

Perhaps recognizing that these often-cited passages are not sufficient to support their conclusions, the writers of TSKT look to several other verses as well. We’ll consider these individually.

“Every word that proceedeth”

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matt. 4:4)

Thomas M. Strouse handles this passage in TSKT’s second chapter and concludes the following:

The Lord clearly stated His belief in the availability of Scripture by assuming the accessibility of every Word. The Savior clearly stated His belief in the verbal, plenary preservation of God’s Words since they had been and were still preserved intact in His day. (p. 39)

But Strouse’s case proves to be weak on several grounds. First, the perfect tense of “it is written” (gegraptai), does not indicate anything about the future of what is written, as he asserts (p. 38). Rather, the tense indicates an action that occurred in the past and has produced a state that continues in the writer’s (or, in this case, speaker’s) present. The idea here is simply “it stands written.”

Second, Jesus describes the “every word” He has in mind as coming from the “mouth” of God, and uses the Greek rhēma (ῥῆμα) for “word.” Rhēma normally indicates spoken rather than written words.

Third, “proceeds” is in the present tense. The sense is “every word that is proceeding from the mouth of God.” Though continuation is not always part of the meaning of a present tense verb, the fact that “shall live” is future almost requires that sense here. “Man shall live now and in the future by every word that is proceeding from the mouth of God.”

Finally, the context is also significant. Deuteronomy 8:3, which Jesus quotes here, is a reminder to the children of Israel that they are dependent on God’s decrees for their well being. And in the immediate context, Jesus is responding to pressure from Satan to turn stones into bread (during a long fast).

These details do not prove that Jesus was referring to unwritten words, but together they do strongly suggest He was speaking of God’s continual commanding of what we need to “live.” He was emphasizing our dependence on the Father as well as the Father’s sovereign control over our lives. In Matthew Henry’s words:

It is true, God in his providence ordinarily maintains men by bread out of the earth (Job 28:5); but he can, if he please, make use of other means to keep men alive; any word proceeding out of the mouth of God, any thing that God shall order and appoint for that end, will be as good a livelihood for man as bread, and will maintain him as well.2

Jesus’ statement here does not communicate that He had access to an Old Testament text that contained every word originally inspired. The statement is even further from teaching that every generation of believers will have access to such a text.

“They have received them”

For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. (John 17:8)

In ch. 4, Strouse takes up the case once again, this time emphasizing the concept of a “received Bible.”

This essay will demonstrate that…the Lord Jesus is the Author of the received Bible mindset and expects His followers to be united around the received Bible movement throughout history. (p. 52)

The chapter’s argument is based in part on the view that “the words” Jesus says the Father gave Him are the entire “Bible canon,” and the same as the “all Scripture” of 2 Timothy 3:16—the same words Jesus said would never pass away (Matt. 24:35, p. 53). Furthermore, since all will be judged by these words (John 12:48), all of the “canonical Words” must be written and preserved. To judge men by anything less than “perfectly preserved, inscripturated Words” would be unjust (p.53).

Strouse then cites several references to believers “receiving” the word (pp. 54-55) and, in the process, gives “receive” a special meaning: something along the lines of “to get a hold of a copy of the entire Bible that you know is a word-perfect copy” (my words, not his).

A close look at the text, however, reveals that it does not support the conclusions Strouse draws from it. That Jesus is referring to the entire canon when He says “the words which thou gavest me,” is far from “presumably” true (p. 53), especially since much of the canon had not yet been written at the time. Plus, the words Jesus says His hearers will be judged by (John 12:48) refers most naturally to those He had been speaking to them personally. Other passages may expand on the content of what men will be judged by, but can we reasonably argue that every word of Scripture must be preserved, recognized and accessible in order for this judging to be just? How would someone be judged differently if Luke 9:3 reads mēte ana duo chitōnas, “not two tunics apiece” (Textus Receptus), rather than simply mēte duo chitōnas, “not two tunics” (Nestle-Aland 27th ed.)?3

What Jesus says in John 17:8 is simply that He has faithfully passed on the words He was given. Turning this into “every single one of the words of Scripture” is reading into the text. Even if we suppose that Jesus meant exactly that, the conclusion that He promises a word-perfect text for every generation does not follow.

“Thou hast known the holy scriptures”

In ch. 6, Charles Nichols argues that “inspiration implies preservation,” based on 2 Timothy 3:15-17.

15And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Nichols summarizes his claim as follows:

2 Timothy 3:15-17 strongly suggests perfect, available, verbal and plenary preservation of Scripture just as it establishes God’s inerrant, verbal, plenary inspiration. (p. 68)

His argument asserts that “holy” (v.15) indicates “unadulterated, and pure from defilement” (p. 65). He argues further that the primary meaning of grammata (“scriptures” in v.15) is “letters,” therefore, Paul was pointing out to Timothy that Timothy had grown up having access to a letter-perfect Old Testament text (p. 66). On the basis of the relationship between v.15 and v.16, Nichols observes, “what God inspired is perfect. Therefore, the Old Testament was perfectly preserved to Timothy’s day” (p. 66).

Based on the sufficiency of Scripture expressed in 3:17, Nichols concludes that “Sufficiency depends on every writing God breathed” and “the availability of every writing is an obvious ramification of ‘all Scripture is profitable’ ” (p.67). His conclusion is that “the unadulterated Words, recorded up to or more than a thousand years earlier, were available to Timothy.”

A closer look

Several problems exist with this line of argument as well. First, “holy” (hieros, which Nichols says is synonymous with hagios) does not always mean completely pure. For example, 1 Corinthians 7:14 describes the children of believers as hagios.

Second, the passage does not say that Timothy “had access to” or “possessed” the “holy scriptures” but that he knew them. Unless we suppose that young Timothy knew every single inspired word of the Old Testament, “holy scriptures” in v.15 cannot have that meaning. Rather, it refers to the subset of the Scriptures Timothy had personally learned.

Verse 16, however, does specify that “all Scripture” is theopneustos (an adjective rendered “given by inspiration” in the KJV). Paul’s point is that the Scripture Timothy knew was powerful and sufficient because the Scripture that was inspired was powerful and sufficient. He does not say that what Timothy knew included every word originally given.

Third, even if Timothy had had access to a word-perfect copy of the Old Testament, what would this prove about what we have today?

The sufficiency argument based on 3:17 remains. Nichol’s reasoning is that if “all Scripture” is sufficient, missing any words would render it insufficient. But the reasoning is faulty. If I say “all of my money is sufficient to buy a hamburger,” I’m not denying that “some of my money is sufficient to buy a hamburger.” Granted, if the “some” is reduced to a small enough subset of “all,” it eventually becomes insufficient. But it is far from obvious that the discrepancies we find in the MSS cross that threshold.

Conclusion

Several passages and Bible-based arguments in TSKT remain to be considered. So far, its case for a biblical doctrine of word-perfect text preservation proves nothing beyond what is generally agreed: that God has seen to it that we have His Word today in a form that is sufficient to inform our faith and direct our obedience.

Notes

1 “Text” here means a complete Hebrew and Aramaic OT and complete Greek NT.

2 Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, (Matt. 4:4).

3 Of course, not all manuscript differences are so minor, but a vast quantity of them are. TSKT’s preservation argument here requires that every pronoun and qualifier be preserved in order for God to judge justly.


Aaron Blumer, SI’s site publisher, is a native of lower Michigan and a graduate of Bob Jones University (Greenville, SC) and Central Baptist Theological Seminary (Plymouth, MN). He, his wife, and their two children live in a small town in western Wisconsin, where he has pastored Grace Baptist Church (Boyceville, WI) since 2000. Prior to serving as a pastor, Aaron taught school in Stone Mountain, Georgia and worked in customer service and technical support for Unisys Corporation (Eagan, MN). He enjoys science fiction, music, and dabbling in software development.

Ramifications...................

Aaron wrote:
Verse 16, however, does specify that “all Scripture” is theopneustos (an adjective rendered “given by inspiration” in the KJV). Paul’s point is that the Scripture Timothy knew was powerful and sufficient because the Scripture that was inspired was powerful and sufficient. He does not say that what Timothy knew included every word originally given.
Verse 16 is NOT about what Timothy knew but about inspiration. If Aaron's argument is correct (i.e. these Scriptures are not teaching a word-for-word concept), then it has important ramifications for inspiration. Does inspiration demand word-for-word accuracy? If so, it follows that Timothy possessed word-for-word accuracy or he did not have the "Scriptures given by inspiration." Which is it? There is no differentiation in the text. The arguments that Strouse, Nichols, et. al. use are the very same arguments used to argue word-for-word inspiration. If Aaron chooses to deny Strouse, Nichols, et. al. their arguments for preservation, then he must deny the same arguments in support of word-for-word inspiration. I doubt that he is willing to deny word-for-word inspiration.
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Third, even if Timothy had had access to a word-perfect copy of the Old Testament, what would this prove about what we have today?
It would clearly indicate that God had preserved His Scriptures on a word-for-word basis for centuries. Thus, it would be reasonable to believe, contra to the current text critical theory, that He would continue to do so. It would establish that the principle of preservation on a word-for-word basis did take place. However, it does not constitute a proof in a Modernist-rationalist-naturalistic-scientific schema if such proof is necessary.

3:15 and 3:16

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Paul’s point is that the Scripture Timothy knew was powerful and sufficient because the Scripture that was inspired was powerful and sufficient.

In discussion on an earlier article in this series someone asked if I though the "Scriptures" of 3.15 referred to something different than the "Scriptures" of 3.16. At the time, I had not studied the question closely. What I'm suggesting here is that they both refer to the Scriptures themselves, the autographa. But there is a distinction between the two verses based on the word "all" in v.16 which is not in v.15.
Timothy "knew" some of the verbal, plenary inspired Scriptures ... just as we do today regardless of what Hebrew or Greek text underlies the translation we are using.

The word-for-word inerrant quality of what God inspired is not in dispute in anything I've written.

As for what kind of proof is necessary. There are really only two possibilities that matter here.
a) God said He would do it
b) External evidence
Either way, we must have a reason for believing something. But if we have the first, we have no need for the second. My thesis is simply that we do not have the first.

The whole effort to cast the preservation debate as a choice between a modernistic/rationalistic way of thinking vs. a "logic of faith" way of thinking is a fantasy.

re: 2 Tim. 3:15-16

Aaron,

I think you get this right. Timothy had access to the Scriptures in the same sense we all do - in either a translation or a copy of a copy of a copy.... (edition). To the degree that the copy we have is faithful to the original, we can claim to have an inspired copy. The originals are what were "given by inspiration". We wouldn't say that every copy of the originals is "given by inspiration" or "breathed out by God". But the original words are. The original message is. Inspiration extends to the words and letters. But here in 2 Tim. 3 we don't have a promise that every copy will be equally perfect to that degree.

Striving for the unity of the faith, for the glory of God ~ Eph. 4:3, 13; Rom. 15:5-7 I blog at Fundamentally Reformed. Follow me on Twitter.

your hamburger analogy is good

Aaron Blumer wrote:
The sufficiency argument based on 3:17 remains. Nichol’s reasoning is that if “all Scripture” is sufficient, missing any words would render it insufficient. But the reasoning is faulty. If I say “all of my money is sufficient to buy a hamburger,” I’m not denying that “some of my money is sufficient to buy a hamburger.” Granted, if the “some” is reduced to a small enough subset of “all,” it eventually becomes insufficient. But it is far from obvious that the discrepancies we find in the MSS cross that threshold.

I thought this was really good, Aaron. This is where the rubber meets the road. It just isn't true that the nature of the differences we find between the various Greek editions is such that only one or the other can be useful, and even more-- that one or the other must of necessity be Satanic and corrupted to the point of it being unfit for use at all. That is just not the case.

Striving for the unity of the faith, for the glory of God ~ Eph. 4:3, 13; Rom. 15:5-7 I blog at Fundamentally Reformed. Follow me on Twitter.

Straw Man

Aaron Blumer ][quote= wrote:

The whole effort to cast the preservation debate as a choice between a modernistic/rationalistic way of thinking vs. a "logic of faith" way of thinking is a fantasy.

Thanks for saying this. I get so tired of people framing theological arguments using straw men. "Either you are 1611 or you are a liberal rationalist" gets used way too much. It also exhibits the fallacy of the excluded middle. Just because I don't believe in the KJB doesn't mean that I don't believe in preservation.

As Bob mentioned above your sufficiency argument was good. Here is another rubber-meets-the-road place: can a person get saved after reading a [inert the translation you love to hate here ] version? I have a dear brother who constantly wants to attribute translations to the Satanic realm and yet he has to admit that "even the meanest" versions point to a clear way of salvation by repentance of sin and faith in Christ.

Jon Bell
Bucksport, ME
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and

Prove your division............

Aaron Blumer wrote:
Quote:
Paul’s point is that the Scripture Timothy knew was powerful and sufficient because the Scripture that was inspired was powerful and sufficient.

In discussion on an earlier article in this series someone asked if I though the "Scriptures" of 3.15 referred to something different than the "Scriptures" of 3.16. At the time, I had not studied the question closely. What I'm suggesting here is that they both refer to the Scriptures themselves, the autographa. But there is a distinction between the two verses based on the word "all" in v.16 which is not in v.15.
Well, I think that I asked this question and I don't buy your answer. It flies in the face of the plain fact that there is no signifying distinction. As much as this portion has been exegeted, dissected and analyzed, can you provide a single scholarly source making the distinction having observed it before you? You need to elaborate more on the supposed distinction that you see. There is no significance in the text for the inclusion or exclusion of "all" as a distinguishing between the two Scriptures. Being two different verses, there is an expected diverse word choice. This, IMHO, is a contrived distinction based on the necessity of supporting a tottering hypothesis. You will need more evidence than you have postulated. If, in fact, there is a distinction as you have proposed, it is a very confusing and obtuse argument to use the two in juxtaposition without a clear signal indicating a differentiation in usage.
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Timothy "knew" some of the verbal, plenary inspired Scriptures ... just as we do today regardless of what Hebrew or Greek text underlies the translation we are using.
Whoa! "Some" is not in my Greek text and it certainly is not in my KJV. I think we call this rationalization or some other term too big for my small mind. Where did you find it?
<br /> [quote wrote:

The word-for-word inerrant quality of what God inspired is not in dispute in anything I've written.
Aaron, I know that. However, I am trying to force you to see that your system of naturalistic rationalism (i.e. Modernity or Modernism in the religious arena) will force you to be contradictory or reach that conclusion if you use it consistently. If you use it inconsistently, then...............well...........I think you see.
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As for what kind of proof is necessary. There are really only two possibilities that matter here.
a) God said He would do it
b) External evidence

How do you know? What is your reasoning behind this conclusion?
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Either way, we must have a reason for believing something. But if we have the first, we have no need for the second. My thesis is simply that we do not have the first.
You're overlooking possibilities. It is possible to draw reasonable conclusions based on what we observe that God has done in the past. In fact, doesn't God assure His people throughout Scripture based on His past behavior. It is only if one accepts a naturalistic-rationalistic way of thinking that he or she is compelled to demand verifiable, observable, and replicable proof.

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The whole effort to cast the preservation debate as a choice between a modernistic/rationalistic way of thinking vs. a "logic of faith" way of thinking is a fantasy.
Well, fantasy is more emotional than helpful. It's more ridicule than serious refutation. I suppose one could find a whole dictionary of words from unenlightened to nescient to unknowing to mindless, etc. for sweeping away the other side's arguments. The whole way of thinking is wrapped up in the naturalistic model of scientific rationalism, which is specious outside the smugness of that paradigm. We are NOT saying that you are Liberals/Modernists but that you are using their model to establish Biblical truth. Therefore, we challenge your paradigm as illegitimate.

Building your own straw man..............................

Jon Bell ][quote=Aaron Blumer wrote:
Quote:

The whole effort to cast the preservation debate as a choice between a modernistic/rationalistic way of thinking vs. a "logic of faith" way of thinking is a fantasy.

Thanks for saying this. I get so tired of people framing theological arguments using straw men. "Either you are 1611 or you are a liberal rationalist" gets used way too much. It also exhibits the fallacy of the excluded middle.

Well, sometimes we just build our own straw-men. For example, who has posted in this or preceding thread that "Either you are 1611 or you are a liberal rationalist?" I must have missed reading it. Otherwise, it sounds a lot like a straw-man to me. What do you think?
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Just because I don't believe in the KJB doesn't mean that I don't believe in preservation.
If you say that you do, then I believe that you do. However, that is not to say that your belief may not be different from mine although we both believe in preservation. What do you mean by preservation? Is it preservation of the words in a word-for-word manner? Preservation of thoughts (i.e. similar to thought inspiration)? Just what do you mean? Also, I am amused that many people who battle so hard to prove that they are preservationists often deny that the Bible specifically teaches preservation. So, what's the fuss? My little mind is confused and bamboozled. What is preservation? Does the Bible teach it? Why do you believe it and want to be known as a preservationist? Please help me!
Quote:

As Bob mentioned above your sufficiency argument was good. Here is another rubber-meets-the-road place: can a person get saved after reading a [inert the translation you love to hate here ] version? I have a dear brother who constantly wants to attribute translations to the Satanic realm and yet he has to admit that "even the meanest" versions point to a clear way of salvation by repentance of sin and faith in Christ.

Oh, this sounds like another straw-man argument. It's only a foolish and inane argument to agonize over how corrupt can a text be and still lead one to Christ. This is akin to how much can I sin and still go to heaven? So, I think this is one of those "foolish and unlearned questions" that should not occupy our time. Leave it be.

Does it really matter?

Bob Hayton wrote:
Aaron Blumer wrote:
The sufficiency argument based on 3:17 remains. Nichol’s reasoning is that if “all Scripture” is sufficient, missing any words would render it insufficient. But the reasoning is faulty. If I say “all of my money is sufficient to buy a hamburger,” I’m not denying that “some of my money is sufficient to buy a hamburger.” Granted, if the “some” is reduced to a small enough subset of “all,” it eventually becomes insufficient. But it is far from obvious that the discrepancies we find in the MSS cross that threshold.

I thought this was really good, Aaron. This is where the rubber meets the road. It just isn't true that the nature of the differences we find between the various Greek editions is such that only one or the other can be useful, and even more-- that one or the other must of necessity be Satanic and corrupted to the point of it being unfit for use at all. That is just not the case.
If you're right, why did the Fundamentalist fight the Liberals/Modernists so hard over the doctrine of inspiration. If your argument is correct, then why is belief in a plenary, verbal inspiration important at all? It appears that we fight tooth and nail to preserve the doctrine of a plenary, verbally inspired Scripture only to cast it away with the idea that no such text is extant? So, what's the fuss? It really doesn't matter if you're right.

I'll have to be selective

RP.. haven't got time today to answer everything, but I'll pick out a couple of important ones.

Quote:
Well, I think that I asked this question and I don't buy your answer. It flies in the face of the plain fact that there is no signifying distinction. As much as this portion has been exegeted, dissected and analyzed, can you provide a single scholarly source

Well, for one thing, depending on a scholarly source would sort of be following the modernist, rationalist paradigm, wouldn't it? I'm half kidding about that.
But I don't need a scholar for this point and you don't either. The distinction rests on two things...

  • the word "all" in vs.16 and
  • the unlikelihood that Timothy had every word of the OT committed to memory

On the second point, you pointed out that "some" is not in the text (Timothy knew "some" of the Holy Scriptures). This is true. Are you prepared to produce a scholar who says Timothy knew all of the Old Testament? I have taken it for granted that most readers do not need proof that Timothy did not "know" every word of the OT.

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why did the Fundamentalist fight the Liberals/Modernists so hard over the doctrine of inspiration.

This is a very good question as well. I can't speak for those who were involved in the fight, but for my part, I'd join the fight today because

  1. The Bible clearly teaches the doctrine of inspiration... we cannot deny it without becoming completely arbitrary in what we choose to believe and not believe
  2. Even without every word preserved, having no inspired words to pursue (by comparing the mss) would a dramatically different situation.

    To illustrate, suppose the Mona Lisa were destroyed in a museum fire. Would it make sense to say "Well, we don't have any perfect copies that are exactly like the original so there's no point in claiming DaVinci painted it?" It doesn't follow.

Analogy does not prove the argument.............

Bob Hayton wrote:
Aaron Blumer wrote:
The sufficiency argument based on 3:17 remains. Nichol’s reasoning is that if “all Scripture” is sufficient, missing any words would render it insufficient. But the reasoning is faulty. If I say “all of my money is sufficient to buy a hamburger,” I’m not denying that “some of my money is sufficient to buy a hamburger.” Granted, if the “some” is reduced to a small enough subset of “all,” it eventually becomes insufficient. But it is far from obvious that the discrepancies we find in the MSS cross that threshold.

I thought this was really good, Aaron. This is where the rubber meets the road. It just isn't true that the nature of the differences we find between the various Greek editions is such that only one or the other can be useful, and even more-- that one or the other must of necessity be Satanic and corrupted to the point of it being unfit for use at all. That is just not the case.
Analogies are attractive because they are light, entertaining, and self-satisfying to the true-believers. Analogies are tricky. They may be valid or, more often than not, invalid. An analogy, however, is a comparison for which there is no one-to-one correspondence to the thing itself. However, there must be a correspondence between some of the parts to have meaning. Now, let's consider Aaron's analogy.

Aaron's analogy is faulty in that there is no clear correspondence between money and hamburgers with words and Scripture. What is symbolic of Scripture? Money? Poor choice! What is the symbolism of the hamburger? Scripture or the words? There is no illustrative correspondence here except that some money can buy a hamburger as opposed to all the money. Of course, more money can buy more hamburgers. So, what's the point? One wonders except that it superficially seems to say that some words of Scripture can convey the meaning of the whole Scripture. Well............go figure. What can we say? It's a very bad analogy. And we have Bob praising it. Of course, he's a true-believer who is interested in promoting his own view.

Now, if you want to do an analogy, let's use a circuit board. The individual components are the words of Scripture and the whole board is representative of the whole of Scripture. Good analogy. Right? There are corresponding parts. Now, the board functions and does its job if all the components work with no short circuits. How many components can malfunction before the whole ceases to function? Can one component, a single resistor or capacitor, cause the whole board to fail? Yes! So, can we conclude that this analogy proves a single wrong word of Scripture destroys the meaning of the whole Scripture? No! But, it does illustrate the fallacy and speciousness of trying to prove an argument with analogy. Also, it may teach us to be a little more reserved in our unbridled praise of our own speciousness, even though it says what we want to hear (remember Sokel), and less gloating toward our ignorant opponents. Wink

Selected points..................

Aaron Blumer wrote:
RP.. haven't got time today to answer everything, but I'll pick out a couple of important ones.
I understand.
Quote:

Quote:
Well, I think that I asked this question and I don't buy your answer. It flies in the face of the plain fact that there is no signifying distinction. As much as this portion has been exegeted, dissected and analyzed, can you provide a single scholarly source

Well, for one thing, depending on a scholarly source would sort of be following the modernist, rationalist paradigm, wouldn't it? I'm half kidding about that.
YES, you're right. There's no reason to be half kidding. I thought about this when I wrote. I don't accept the paradigm and have no compulsion to provide external, scholarly evidence. My thinking is comfortable with only comparing Scripture with Scripture--I need no external authentication. On the other hand, I'm holding your feet to the fire by demanding that you meet the criteria of the naturalistic-rationalistic system that you selectively use. You must have verifying proof.
Quote:

But I don't need a scholar for this point and you don't either. The distinction rests on two things...

  • the word "all" in vs.16 and
  • the unlikelihood that Timothy had every word of the OT committed to memory

Brother, you do err. The comparison is apples and oranges. The "all" of verse 16 is not referent to how much Timothy knew but it is speaking of what the text contained. Likewise, Scriptures in verse 15 is not what portion Timothy knew but what the text contained. You have mutated the question to what Timothy knew in verse 15 as opposed to what the Scriptures contained in verse 16. The question is plainly whether the Scriptures (meaning the text) in verse 15 is the same as the Scriptures (meaning the text) in verse 16. Your reasoning is flawed and does not answer the question.
Quote:

On the second point, you pointed out that "some" is not in the text (Timothy knew "some" of the Holy Scriptures). This is true. Are you prepared to produce a scholar who says Timothy knew all of the Old Testament? I have taken it for granted that most readers do not need proof that Timothy did not "know" every word of the OT.
Wrong question. [/quote] Why do I need to provide a scholar? I don't accept your epistemology. It really doesn't matter whether Timothy had committed every word of the OT to memory (unlikely) or not. It's pure speculation that is immaterial and irrelevant. After all, I have pointed out that you have sidestepped the question. It's not how much Timothy knew in verse 15 versus what was in Scripture in verse 16. The question is whether the text of Scripture in verse 15 is the same as the clearly inspired text of Scripture in verse 16. Your argument just doesn't hold water no matter how and where you patch it.

If one follows the flow of the text, it is clear that the same Scriptures that bring you to salvation (v. 15 "able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith") are also "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (vv. 16-17)" So, would you like to argue that the Scriptures that bring you to salvation are the variant, non-inspired copies (which we have) but only the perfect, word-for-word inspired Scriptures (which are no longer extant) are able to equip us for living the Christian life? ;-(

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Quote:
why did the Fundamentalist fight the Liberals/Modernists so hard over the doctrine of inspiration.

This is a very good question as well. I can't speak for those who were involved in the fight, but for my part, I'd join the fight today because

  1. The Bible clearly teaches the doctrine of inspiration... we cannot deny it without becoming completely arbitrary in what we choose to believe and not believe
  2. Even without every word preserved, having no inspired words to pursue (by comparing the mss) would a dramatically different situation.
My arguments have been all along that the same arguments and reasoning behind plenary verbal inspiration and the canonization of Scripture parallel arguments for preservation. So, if one accepts inspiration and denies preservation, he or she is being inconsistent. Furthermore, I will aver that plenary verbal inspiration cannot be ultimately sustained in a naturalistic rational epistemology and should not be. As previously stated, a naturalistic rational epistemology is invalid and inappropriate in dealing with questions beyond the physical creation. It is limited to the natural world--it cannot deal with the supernatural. This is where the concept of a reasonable faith enters as directed by the Holy Spirit and God's Word is the benchmark.
Quote:

To illustrate, suppose the Mona Lisa were destroyed in a museum fire. Would it make sense to say "Well, we don't have any perfect copies that are exactly like the original so there's no point in claiming DaVinci painted it?" It doesn't follow.
Aaron, I'm sorry, but analogies mean nothing except to help illustrate a point or argument that you have already made. It may clarify but it doesn't prove because anyone with a little thought and wit can craft an analogy to fit any argument conceived. So, this means nothing to me. It's all wrong.

naturalistic-rationalistic circularity

RP... one last time: is there any evidence at all that in these articles that I'm employing some kind of naturalistic-rationalistic system (or paradigm or epistemology or whatever) aside from the fact that I disagree with you about preservation?
That accusation has been repeated ad nauseum (and that's getting close to literally true at this point) and you've observed that I have not disproved it, but I don't have to disprove it. The one who makes the assertion is the one who must supply the argument.

Absent that argument, as far as I can tell, your thinking is basically this...

  • We know Aaron is wrong about preservation because his thinking is naturalistic.
  • We know Aaron's thinking is naturalistic because he is wrong about preservation.

Anything about that look circular to you?

If there is any other evidence that my thinking is naturalistic, etc.--please lay it out.

Still waiting...............

Aaron,

I'm completely with you on this one:

Quote:
That accusation has been repeated ad nauseum (and that's getting close to literally true at this point) and you've observed that I have not disproved it, but I don't have to disprove it. The one who makes the assertion is the one who must supply the argument.
RPittman has attempted to shoot down every argument of yours by claiming it is not based entirely in Scripture. Therefore I would like to hear from him
  1. What is his real position on this issue?
  2. If he prefers one translation above the others (or rejects all others) how does he get to that position without using any evidence or arguments not found in the pages of Scripture?

MS
--------------------------------
Luke 17:10

Have I been so obtuse?

MShep2 wrote:
Aaron,

I'm completely with you on this one:

Quote:
That accusation has been repeated ad nauseum (and that's getting close to literally true at this point) and you've observed that I have not disproved it, but I don't have to disprove it. The one who makes the assertion is the one who must supply the argument.
RPittman has attempted to shoot down every argument of yours by claiming it is not based entirely in Scripture. [emphasis added ]
No, you have not comprehended my arguments at all. I have NOT taken this approach at all. You are reading something into my posts that isn't there. If this is not true, then refute my statement by quoting my posts to contradict me. My arguments have generally run that Aaron is not consistent in the following:

  1. He does live up to the requirements that he places on the preservationists (i.e. Their arguments must be entirely based on Scripture.) (Note: Perhaps this is the source of your misunderstanding.) I, personally, do not require that every argument be entirely based on Scripture except that Aaron must meet the same requirements that he places on the preservationists. The point of the argument is consistency.
  2. He is not consistent in following the requirements of his chosen epistemological methodology (i.e. Modernity) including verifiable, replicable, and observable. I do not think that every idea must be verifiable, replicable, and observable but I do insist that Aaron be restricted to these requirements if he is going use scientific epistemological, which he naively calls observations, to correct theological interpretation.
  3. He is using the wrong methodology for dealing with revelation and the supernatural. His methodology cannot resolve problems or difficulties in this realm because it is limited to the physical, natural world. Therefore, one cannot mix methodologies. Naturalism in the final analysis ultimately leads to Modernism/Liberalism and unbelief (denial of revelation).
  4. He cannot selectively choose when to argue from naturalism or super-naturalism (i.e. revelation, direction by the Holy Spirit, etc.) as it suits his purpose.

    Quote:

    Therefore I would like to hear from him
    1. What is his real position on this issue?
    2. If he prefers one translation above the others (or rejects all others) how does he get to that position without using any evidence or arguments not found in the pages of Scripture?
    Friend, you have been hearing from me in page after page of posts. If you do not comprehend my position from previous posts, then it is beyond me to explain it in a few paragraphs here. However, I will try to summarize:

    1. I believe that God has miraculously preserved His revealed, inspired Word in a line of texts, loosely known as the Received Text, from the time of inspiration until the present.
    2. I believe that we have God's inspired Word present in written form today.
    3. I believe that the Believing Church is the recipient, conservator, transmitter, guardian, and preserver of God's Word.
    4. I believe that God's preservative power and acts are presupposed in our acceptance of canonization and inspiration.
    5. I believe that the same reasoning that leads us to plenary verbal (The Bible does not say plenary verbal) inspiration with the inferences of inerrancy, infallibility, etc. are applicable to establishing the doctrine of preservation.
    6. I believe that the KJV is God's inspired Word in the English language.
    7. I do not believe or accept Original Autographs Theory, Modern Critical Text Theory, etc. These are either reactions or products of Modernity (read Modernism).
    8. I reject the epistemological tenets of Modernity (i.e. Modernism) and naturalistic-rationalism (i.e. scientific rationalism).

      And I am prepared to vigorously defend every one of the above. What more would you like to know?

RPittman wrote: I believe

RPittman wrote:

  1. I believe that God has miraculously preserved His revealed, inspired Word in a line of texts, loosely known as the Received Text, from the time of inspiration until the present.
  2. I believe that we have God's inspired Word present in written form today.
  3. I believe that the Believing Church is the recipient, conservator, transmitter, guardian, and preserver of God's Word.
  4. I believe that God's preservative power and acts are presupposed in our acceptance of canonization and inspiration.
  5. I believe that the same reasoning that leads us to plenary verbal (The Bible does not say plenary verbal) inspiration with the inferences of inerrancy, infallibility, etc. are applicable to establishing the doctrine of preservation.
  6. I believe that the KJV is God's inspired Word in the English language.
  7. I do not believe or accept Original Autographs Theory, Modern Critical Text Theory, etc. These are either reactions or products of Modernity (read Modernism).
  8. I reject the epistemological tenets of Modernity (i.e. Modernism) and naturalistic-rationalism (i.e. scientific rationalism).

    And I am prepared to vigorously defend every one of the above. What more would you like to know?


This is right in line with what Aaron is writing about. How do you do #1 and #6?
It seems like the same process that the Roman church used in producing the TR was used in producing other compendiums of the MS evidence. It seems like the same processes that were used in producing the KJV are able to be used in producing other good translations. Lastly, it seems that if there is 1 translation that is God's inspired Word (presumably to the exclusion of other good translations) for a people group in a certain time (1611 [or 1769 or whatever ] to the present) that each people/language group in each time must have the same level of inspiration/revelation/preservation.

[Also as to my earlier post. I was not seeking to set up a straw man but simply relaying a straw man that I have heard so often used by KJVOs: "If you don't believe in preservation exactly like me then you don't believe in preservation." I am not accusing anyone in this discussion of doing that but simply stating that it has been done before. ]

Jon Bell
Bucksport, ME
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and

Radical arguments.......................

Jon Bell wrote:
RPittman wrote:

  1. I believe that God has miraculously preserved His revealed, inspired Word in a line of texts, loosely known as the Received Text, from the time of inspiration until the present.
  2. I believe that we have God's inspired Word present in written form today.
  3. I believe that the Believing Church is the recipient, conservator, transmitter, guardian, and preserver of God's Word.
  4. I believe that God's preservative power and acts are presupposed in our acceptance of canonization and inspiration.
  5. I believe that the same reasoning that leads us to plenary verbal (The Bible does not say plenary verbal) inspiration with the inferences of inerrancy, infallibility, etc. are applicable to establishing the doctrine of preservation.
  6. I believe that the KJV is God's inspired Word in the English language.
  7. I do not believe or accept Original Autographs Theory, Modern Critical Text Theory, etc. These are either reactions or products of Modernity (read Modernism).
  8. I reject the epistemological tenets of Modernity (i.e. Modernism) and naturalistic-rationalism (i.e. scientific rationalism).

    And I am prepared to vigorously defend every one of the above. What more would you like to know?


This is right in line with what Aaron is writing about. How do you do #1 and #6?
Well, Jon, you gotta help me here in order to at least understand. You agree, of course, with Aaron because you share the same mindset--the same epistemological system. I am an iconoclast trying to get both of you outside your box and to see the alternate universes. You don't have to agree but at least you would understand there are other worlds out there. Points #s 1 & 6 cannot be established in a naturalistic-rationalistic hermeneutic. Until you intentionally set aside Modernity and place yourself in another frame of reference, you will never be able to understand this.
Quote:

It seems like the same process that the Roman church used in producing the TR was used in producing other compendiums of the MS evidence. It seems like the same processes that were used in producing the KJV are able to be used in producing other good translations. Lastly, it seems that if there is 1 translation that is God's inspired Word (presumably to the exclusion of other good translations) for a people group in a certain time (1611 [or 1769 or whatever ] to the present) that each people/language group in each time must have the same level of inspiration/revelation/preservation.
So what? God often uses ordinary means to accomplish His will. Not every act of God is miraculous (i.e. setting aside or suspending natural actions). The story is bound up in how the KJV came to dominate the English language. It was not an intentional or man-made initiative that created this although God apparently used the intentional efforts of men to accomplish His will. On the other hand, the situation is much different today. It is the pluralistic nature of multiple versions and the state of the English language that are problematic. Furthermore, the Hebrew and Greek texts are under critique. I am not saying that God will not raise up another standard; He may. However, I don't buy into the mindset and arguments surrounding the current translation-revision industry. A good, full answer to this open-ended question would take up many times more space and time than available here.
Quote:

[Also as to my earlier post. I was not seeking to set up a straw man but simply relaying a straw man that I have heard so often used by KJVOs: "If you don't believe in preservation exactly like me then you don't believe in preservation." I am not accusing anyone in this discussion of doing that but simply stating that it has been done before. ]

Then why did you bring it up if it doesn't apply to those posting here?

ERRATA

Point # 1 regarding Aaron in a previous post should have read:

1. He does NOT live up to the requirements that he places on the preservationists (i.e. Their arguments must be entirely based on Scripture.) (Note: Perhaps this is the source of your misunderstanding.) I, personally, do not require that every argument be entirely based on Scripture except that Aaron must meet the same requirements that he places on the preservationists. The point of the argument is consistency.

Still waiting, too

Quote:
1. He does not live up to the requirements that he places on the preservationists (i.e. Their arguments must be entirely based on Scripture.) (Note: Perhaps this is the source of your misunderstanding.) I, personally, do not require that every argument be entirely based on Scripture except that Aaron must meet the same requirements that he places on the preservationists. The point of the argument is consistency.
2. He is not consistent in following the requirements of his chosen epistemological methodology (i.e. Modernity) including verifiable, replicable, and observable. I do not think that every idea must be verifiable, replicable, and observable but I do insist that Aaron be restricted to these requirements if he is going use scientific epistemological, which he naively calls observations, to correct theological interpretation.

On #1, I have not said the perfect text view must argue only from Scripture. I'm just responding to their efforts to do so in TSKT because I believe the biblical case is the most important question. But as it turns out, I have argued entirely and only from Scripture. Haven't quoted external sources or referred to them (I guess I footnoted a couple of books in part 2 where I was summarizing views, but these are not part of my case). It just isn't there.

On #2: I'm still waiting for a basis for this claim. Please show us where I have used "scientific epistemological, which he naively calls observations, to correct theological interpretation." If you can't actually supply any evidence for your assertion on this point, it's only fair and honest to stop making it. I'm tempted to offer a $1000 reward to anyone who can find a naturalistic or external argument in any of the three articles I've written so far on this topic.

Roland, you keep constructing distorted versions of my claims and responding to those instead of what I'm actually saying. But your constructs don't even resemble my position anymore, and I think most readers can see that. There isn't much point in continuing to do that. I can't defend what I don't really believe and if you succeed in arguing against what I'm not saying, my actual claims are still unanswered. So it's just not an effective approach.

Majoring on minors in the wrong key...................

Aaron Blumer wrote:
RP... one last time: is there any evidence at all that in these articles that I'm employing some kind of naturalistic-rationalistic system (or paradigm or epistemology or whatever) aside from the fact that I disagree with you about preservation?
That accusation has been repeated ad nauseum (and that's getting close to literally true at this point) and you've observed that I have not disproved it, but I don't have to disprove it. The one who makes the assertion is the one who must supply the argument.[emphasis added ]
Aaron, you are avoiding the issues. I am not accusing you of anything. I am not using propaganda to tar you an emotional label of Modernist/Liberal. Yes, I know Fundamentalists do this--use the emotional content, connotation, when the meaning (denotation) is lacking. My purpose, however, is to establish that we are reasoning within two divergent frames of reference and our requirements for the establishment of our premises are different. No, you can't corner me by forcing me to play by your rules. In earlier exchanges, you told me that I could not reject the epistemology of Modernity; you can't put me in that box.

Now, Aaron, our debates have always kind, mutually respectful and forthright although not always scholarly and sometimes stubborn. Believe me that I am not trying to hang a label around your neck. Yet, when you argue that I cannot reject Modernity, I can only conclude that your reasoning must fall within the epistemology of Modernity (i.e. naturalistic rationalism or scientific rationalism). However, if you would like to deny this, then alright--I'll believe you. So, please define your own paradigm. What is your epistemological system?

Quote:

Absent that argument, as far as I can tell, your thinking is basically this...

  • We know Aaron is wrong about preservation because his thinking is naturalistic.
  • We know Aaron's thinking is naturalistic because he is wrong about preservation.

Anything about that look circular to you?

Well, you've created a scenario of circular reasoning but it has nothing to do with my ratiocination. I assure you that this is completely off track.
Quote:

If there is any other evidence that my thinking is naturalistic, etc.--please lay it out.
Oh, that's very simple. You are suggesting, as I understand your position, that the natural (i.e. the observable natural phenomenon) through rational reasoning can be used to choose between theological interpretations. So, is not this naturalistic? This could be stated as using the natural to make supernatural choices, I suppose. Smile Also, I understand your position is that we cannot escape Modernity, which is grounded in naturalistic rationalism. If you have an "other-than-naturalistic-rationalistic" epistemology, please spell it out for me. What is it?

Here's my opinion on the whole matter. As one in the Fundamentalist tradition, you are offended by the idea of being associated with naturalistic rationalism because this is a no-no in our circles. You saw it as a smear technique instead of a definition or description of your thought processes. Well, Aaron, don't worry because you are in good company. Most Fundamentalists, except for the uneducated, and all orthodox allies from Warfield to Brokenshire to your BJU professors are stuck in this paradigm. By repeating it, I intended that you pick up on "Fundamentalists used modernism against Modernism." So, if you're not using "modernism," then tell me your epistemology.

Now, my disappointment is that you've chosen this detail to argue over. The important points you have ignored. For example, why haven't you answered the following?

  1. Why haven't you addressed my refutation of your analogies?
  2. Why haven't you commented on my clear contradiction of your interpretation of II Timothy 3:15-17?
  3. Why haven't you answered whether the Scriptures (text) of II Timothy 3:15 that leads us to salvation is the same Scriptures (text) II Timothy 3:16-17 that guides us in Christian obedience?
  4. Why won't you deal with the canonization-preservation-inspiration issue?
  5. Rather than simply denying or calling upon me to offer proof, why haven't you stated your epistemology?

    I eagerly await your reply.

RPittman wrote: Well, Jon,

RPittman wrote:
Well, Jon, you gotta help me here in order to at least understand. …Then why did you bring it up if it doesn't apply to those posting here?

[Getting a little aggravated but attempting to remain charitable. ]
Here's some help, Mr. Pittman. One. Tell me how you can posit #1 and #6 on your list. You don't have to write a book. Just give the outline. A leads to B leads to C or whatever epistemological method you want to use. Two. I minister in an area that is full of other "frame of reference" and so I have heard a lot of the arguments but not one of them that avoided the problem that we are discussing here, namely the Bible teaches preservation but does not tell us exactly how that works. Three. You still sound as if you are asking us to just accept on faith that God has miraculously preserved his word exclusively in the KJV and the TR without any rational proof or evidence from scripture or church history or any kind of objective standard. Four. Thanks for admitting that there could be another miraculous translation as good as the KJV--so how would we recognize it? Five. I brought up the straw man because it was germane. Six. As for not answering questions, my whole post was about wanting (honestly interested in wanting!) to hear your explanation of how I might know where God's Word was residing if I was a non-english speaker now or say prior to 1500.

Jon Bell
Bucksport, ME
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and

To RPittman:

Mr R Pittman; you stated thee following:

1. I believe that God has miraculously preserved His revealed, inspired Word in a line of texts, loosely known as the Received Text, from the time of inspiration until the present.
2. I believe that we have God's inspired Word present in written form today.
3. I believe that the Believing Church is the recipient, conservator, transmitter, guardian, and preserver of God's Word.
4. I believe that God's preservative power and acts are presupposed in our acceptance of canonization and inspiration.
5.I believe that the same reasoning that leads us to plenary verbal (The Bible does not say plenary verbal) inspiration with the inferences of inerrancy, infallibility, etc. are applicable to establishing the doctrine of preservation.
6. I believe that the KJV is God's inspired Word in the English language.
7. I do not believe or accept Original Autographs Theory, Modern Critical Text Theory, etc. These are either reactions or products of Modernity (read Modernism).
I reject the epistemological tenets of Modernity (i.e. Modernism) and naturalistic-rationalism (i.e. scientific rationalism).
And I am prepared to vigorously defend every one of the above. What more would you like to know?

I am ready to read your defense. Sounds interesting! Since you state each of these with absolute certainty as a belief or doctrine, there must be scriptural revelatory authority that you feel backs each of these principles. Would you be so kind as to keep it simple. Please just list at the end of each principle the applicable scripture references that you feels backs that belief.

Thank you

No, thanks, I don't care to play tennis...............

Bob T. wrote:
Mr R Pittman; you stated thee following:

1. I believe that God has miraculously preserved His revealed, inspired Word in a line of texts, loosely known as the Received Text, from the time of inspiration until the present.
2. I believe that we have God's inspired Word present in written form today.
3. I believe that the Believing Church is the recipient, conservator, transmitter, guardian, and preserver of God's Word.
4. I believe that God's preservative power and acts are presupposed in our acceptance of canonization and inspiration.
5.I believe that the same reasoning that leads us to plenary verbal (The Bible does not say plenary verbal) inspiration with the inferences of inerrancy, infallibility, etc. are applicable to establishing the doctrine of preservation.
6. I believe that the KJV is God's inspired Word in the English language.
7. I do not believe or accept Original Autographs Theory, Modern Critical Text Theory, etc. These are either reactions or products of Modernity (read Modernism).
I reject the epistemological tenets of Modernity (i.e. Modernism) and naturalistic-rationalism (i.e. scientific rationalism).
And I am prepared to vigorously defend every one of the above. What more would you like to know?

I am ready to read your defense. Sounds interesting! Since you state each of these with absolute certainty as a belief or doctrine, there must be scriptural revelatory authority that you feel backs each of these principles. Would you be so kind as to keep it simple. Please just list at the end of each principle the applicable scripture references that you feels backs that belief.

Thank you

Bob, this is a very neat little stratagem. I call it "playing tennis"--just put the ball in the other guy's court. I use it often myself so I choose not to play the game by your rules. Why should I be required to provide proof texts when the proponents of the Original Autographs Theory, Modern Critical Text Theory, etc. have no proof texts? My beliefs come from a compendium of Scriptures with some inferences made just as we do in the orthodox doctrines of plenary verbal inspiration, the rapture, the Trinity, etc. So, don't expect to find the KJV, Textus Receptus, presevation, canonization, etc. mentioned in Scripture anymore than we find rapture, Trinity, inerrancy, infallability, or plenary verbal specifically spelled out. As a lawyer, you should know better, so I suspect that you toying with the yokel.

Cross-threaded........................

Aaron Blumer ][quote wrote:
1. He does not live up to the requirements that he places on the preservationists (i.e. Their arguments must be entirely based on Scripture.) (Note: Perhaps this is the source of your misunderstanding.) I, personally, do not require that every argument be entirely based on Scripture except that Aaron must meet the same requirements that he places on the preservationists. The point of the argument is consistency.
2. He is not consistent in following the requirements of his chosen epistemological methodology (i.e. Modernity) including verifiable, replicable, and observable. I do not think that every idea must be verifiable, replicable, and observable but I do insist that Aaron be restricted to these requirements if he is going use scientific epistemological, which he naively calls observations, to correct theological interpretation.

Quote:
On #1, I have not said the perfect text view must argue only from Scripture. I'm just responding to their efforts to do so in TSKT because I believe the biblical case is the most important question. But as it turns out, I have argued entirely and only from Scripture. Haven't quoted external sources or referred to them (I guess I footnoted a couple of books in part 2 where I was summarizing views, but these are not part of my case). It just isn't there.
Your argument is that they do not have Scriptural backing. If this is essential, then you must present Scriptural backing in refutation. My point is that you have no Scripture contra to their position, which must be if you are consistent in requiring it of them; you can only argue for lack of evidence on their part. You seem to negate their inferences from Scripture, yet you accept many inferential teachings such as inerrant and infallible Scriptures.
Quote:

On #2: I'm still waiting for a basis for this claim. Please show us where I have used "scientific epistemological, which he naively calls observations, to correct theological interpretation." If you can't actually supply any evidence for your assertion on this point, it's only fair and honest to stop making it. I'm tempted to offer a $1000 reward to anyone who can find a naturalistic or external argument in any of the three articles I've written so far on this topic.
This quotation obviously refers to a position that you have taken in another thread.
Quote:

Roland, you keep constructing distorted versions of my claims and responding to those instead of what I'm actually saying.

Aaron, the same claim can be laid on your doorstep.
Aaron's Post # 12 wrote:
Absent that argument, as far as I can tell, your thinking is basically this...
We know Aaron is wrong about preservation because his thinking is naturalistic.
We know Aaron's thinking is naturalistic because he is wrong about preservation.
Anything about that look circular to you?
This is a complete fabrication regarding my though processes.
Aaron Post #12 wrote:

If there is any other evidence that my thinking is naturalistic, etc.--please lay it out.
Yes, see what you wrote in Theistic Evolution, Post # 57 at [URL=http://www.sharperiron.org/filings/4-15-10/14608 ][/URL ]
Quote:
But your constructs don't even resemble my position anymore, and I think most readers can see that.
Well, I can't see it. Please point out where I have distorted what you say.
Quote:
There isn't much point in continuing to do that. I can't defend what I don't really believe and if you succeed in arguing against what I'm not saying, my actual claims are still unanswered.
Which claims?
Quote:
So it's just not an effective approach.
I did refute your analogies and contradict your exposition of II Timothy 3:15-17. You haven't even addressed my questions. Aaron, you are doing a nice little dance avoiding the thorny points.

Now, I did make a major blunder--I cross-threaded some ideas. I did not do it intentionally but I forgot which thread I was doing. In the thread on theistic evolution, you did propose "scientific epistemological, which he naively calls observations, to correct theological interpretation." Is not this true? Well, you're the same guy and the shoe seems to fit. What do you say?

I'm going mad

I think I'm starting to lose my mind so I'll have to wrap up my involvement in this thread ... soon. The repetitiveness is driving me nuts but I'm not quite "there" yet.

RP wrote:
So, please define your own paradigm. What is your epistemological system?

For purposes of the present discussion, it's just this: Bible says it, I believe it. Bible doesn't say it, I might or might not, depending on where other evidence points.
RP wrote:

  1. Why haven't you addressed my refutation of your analogies?
  2. Why haven't you commented on my clear contradiction of your interpretation of II Timothy 3:15-17?
  3. Why haven't you answered whether the Scriptures (text) of II Timothy 3:15 that leads us to salvation is the same Scriptures (text) II Timothy 3:16-17 that guides us in Christian obedience?
  4. Why won't you deal with the canonization-preservation-inspiration issue?
  5. Rather than simply denying or calling upon me to offer proof, why haven't you stated your epistemology?

On 1... the analogies just illustrate, as you correctly pointed out. Your refutations boiled down to essentially this: "I don't find them convincing." That's fine. Someone else might. As for the hamburger one, the analogy was to illustrate a bit of logic: it does not follow that if all of A is sufficient for B, a subset of A is therefore insufficient for B. But I really think the analogy (or one like it) is an easier way for most people to see the logic. I'll actually have more to say on that subject in the next article because TSKT has a chapter that depends entirely on the "all is sufficient, therefore some is insufficient" fallacy.

On 2... On 2 Tim.3:15-17. Your response on that seemed to completely miss what I had actually said about the passage. So all I can do is repeat my view: The word "all" appears in v.16, indicating every word of Scripture. The word "all" does not appear before "Scriptures" in v.15; plus, Timothy is said to have "known" the Scriptures. So in v.15, every word of Scripture is not meant--because Timothy did not "know" every word and it doesn't say "all." (It also doesn't say he had access to anything more than what he "knew." Presumably he did, but we cannot presume that what he had access to was every inspired word. The passage does not say this.)

On 3... I don't see any relevance. But yes, "Scriptures" in both v.15 and v.16 refer to what God inspired, and both the subset of that Timothy "knew" in v.15 and the totality of it that is theopneustos in v.16 are sufficient for salvation and the full furnishing of the man of God in 15 &17.

On 4... canonicity is another subject and I may get to it eventually. I have already answered it to some extent in previous discussion threads in this article series. Inspiration I have already affirmed repeatedly. The doctrine of inspiration does not depend in any way on a person's views on preservation and canonicity because inspiration refers to what God did in giving us the Word and both preservation and canonicity have to do with things that happen later. (Even TSKT is quite clear that inspiration only refers to how God originally gave us the Word. p.240. I have no disagreement with the authors at all on that point.)

On 5... you have stated (I'll drop "accused" since that seems to distract you) that my case against perfect text preservation is based on naturalistic thinking. You have shown no evidence of that at all. The honest thing to do is either back it up or stop repeating it. The only "epistemological paradigm" etc. that matters here is the one that I've employed in the articles, which is simply that the Scriptures mean what they say and do not mean what they do not say. So my method is to interpret the Scriptures using the grammatical-historical method and reason to conclusions based on what is written.

If you cannot offer any reason for your claim that these articles are naturalistic or modernistic etc., we have to guess as to what your reason is. The most likely scenario is that your only reason for thinking my case is modernistic is that I disagree with your position--which takes us back to the circularity problem. You have denied that your thinking is circular, but haven't given me any evidence of any alternative.

So... all I'm asking for is some reason for the modernism/naturalism assertion. Why?

Not yet...........................

Aaron wrote:
I think I'm starting to lose my mind so I'll have to wrap up my involvement in this thread ... soon. The repetitiveness is driving me nuts but I'm not quite "there" yet.
No, not yet. But you are perturbed to have your comfortable way of thinking disturbed.

Probably not

RPittman wrote:
Aaron wrote:
I think I'm starting to lose my mind so I'll have to wrap up my involvement in this thread ... soon. The repetitiveness is driving me nuts but I'm not quite "there" yet.
No, not yet. But you are perturbed to have your comfortable way of thinking disturbed.

Oh, is that it? LOL People have been doing that all my life!
I thought it was from not having my question answered. Just one... why do believe my case against perfect preservation is naturalistic/rationalistic/modernistic? Why should anyone else believe it is? (Sounds like two questions, but they're really just different ways of asking the same thing)

Aaron you have the patience

Aaron you have the patience of Job.

Of all the unconvincing arguments for the TR/KJVO (or KJVP) view I've heard, this ranks right up there. If you could call it an argument at all.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Any others?

Job... well, probably more stubborn than patient.
I'd really love to see a few folks help Roland out here. There are probably some other perceived (or real) problems in my case, but we're not hearing from many perfect text preservationists. Kent Brandenberg tells me he will be posting some responses at his blog pretty soon, so we'll get some additional criticism there I'm sure. Would be nice to see more here, though.

Exhausting the possibilities............................

Aaron wrote:
If you cannot offer any reason for your claim that these articles are naturalistic or modernistic etc., we have to guess as to what your reason is.
No, you don't. You can simply leave it as you don't know, which you don't.
The most likely scenario is that your only reason for thinking my case is modernistic is that I disagree with your position--which takes us back to the circularity problem.<br /> [ /quote ]I believe this is called speculation. Again, you don't know my reason--do you? [quote wrote:
You have denied that your thinking is circular, but haven't given me any evidence of any alternative.
Using your own statement in a previous post, you haven't proved that it is--the burden of proof lies with the one making the assertion. The lack of evidence simply means that you don't know. This is the obvious alternative. You can't prove your argument on speculation. Smile

Mental Exercise

So I awoke this morning and now I am a convinced Particular Preservationist.
1. I believe that God has miraculously preserved His revealed, inspired Word in a line of texts, known as the Majority Text, from the time of inspiration until the present.
2. I believe that we have God's inspired Word present in written form today.
3. I believe that the Believing Church is the recipient, conservator, transmitter, guardian, and preserver of God's Word.
4. I believe that God's preservative power and acts are presupposed in our acceptance of canonization and inspiration.
5.I believe that the same reasoning that leads us to plenary verbal (The Bible does not say plenary verbal) inspiration with the inferences of inerrancy, infallibility, etc. are applicable to establishing the doctrine of preservation.
6. I believe that the ESV is God's inspired Word in the English language. It is miraculously being widely accepted and I hardly even need to mention all the people that have gotten saved after reading the ESV in the very short time that it has been available.
7. I do not believe or accept Ancient Critical Text Theory(read it was OK for old catholics to examine the manuscript and decide what the original was but not for modern scholars to do it).
I reject the epistemological tenets of Modernity (i.e. Modernism) and naturalistic-rationalism (i.e. scientific rationalism) so I don't really have to explain why I believe any of the above but I have faith that my position is correct and I am prepared to vigorously defend every one of the above. What more would you like to know?

How would this be any different from what is being posited by Mr. Pittman here?

Jon Bell
Bucksport, ME
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and

Already answered but you may have missed it.............

Aaron Blumer wrote:
RPittman wrote:
Aaron wrote:
I think I'm starting to lose my mind so I'll have to wrap up my involvement in this thread ... soon. The repetitiveness is driving me nuts but I'm not quite "there" yet.
No, not yet. But you are perturbed to have your comfortable way of thinking disturbed.

Oh, is that it? LOL People have been doing that all my life!
I thought it was from not having my question answered. Just one... why do believe my case against perfect preservation is naturalistic/rationalistic/modernistic? Why should anyone else believe it is? (Sounds like two questions, but they're really just different ways of asking the same thing)
Evidently you're not following my flow of argument. You are still trying to press me into the naturalistic/rationalistic/modernistic mindset. Aren't you aware that there other means of knowledge other than evidence-proof method. Your demanding of a proof or reasoned argument is proof of the method that you employ. You can't lock me into this because I have publicly disavowed Modernity. (Please don't speculate what I do believe before you hear me out.) What are some of the other means of knowledge? Well, intuition plays some little understood role. The big one, however, is revelation. Revelation is without proof although it is not with demonstration and evidence. (Don't take this anywhere because my ideas are not fully expressed here--don't make assumptions.) My point is simply that there are other means of knowledge whereas the naturalistic/rationalistic/modernistic methodology only allows for knowledge through observation and reason. This appears to be your methodology? Is it not?

Comedy?

Jon Bell wrote:
So I awoke this morning and now I am a convinced Particular Preservationist.
1. I believe that God has miraculously preserved His revealed, inspired Word in a line of texts, known as the Majority Text, from the time of inspiration until the present.
2. I believe that we have God's inspired Word present in written form today.
3. I believe that the Believing Church is the recipient, conservator, transmitter, guardian, and preserver of God's Word.
4. I believe that God's preservative power and acts are presupposed in our acceptance of canonization and inspiration.
5.I believe that the same reasoning that leads us to plenary verbal (The Bible does not say plenary verbal) inspiration with the inferences of inerrancy, infallibility, etc. are applicable to establishing the doctrine of preservation.
6. I believe that the ESV is God's inspired Word in the English language. It is miraculously being widely accepted and I hardly even need to mention all the people that have gotten saved after reading the ESV in the very short time that it has been available.
7. I do not believe or accept Ancient Critical Text Theory(read it was OK for old catholics to examine the manuscript and decide what the original was but not for modern scholars to do it).
I reject the epistemological tenets of Modernity (i.e. Modernism) and naturalistic-rationalism (i.e. scientific rationalism) so I don't really have to explain why I believe any of the above but I have faith that my position is correct and I am prepared to vigorously defend every one of the above. What more would you like to know?

How would this be any different from what is being posited by Mr. Pittman here?

This signifies nothing because it is simply a parody extrapolating a statement of my beliefs, which I was asked to post, into silliness. This is a waste of bandwidth.

Paradigm?

Aaron wrote:
Roland wrote:
So, please define your own paradigm. What is your epistemological system?

For purposes of the present discussion, it's just this: Bible says it, I believe it. Bible doesn't say it, I might or might not, depending on where other evidence points.


Well, this really doesn't say very much--it just sounds spiritual. The Bible does speak explicitly about many things but some things that we believe, and I'm sure that you believe, are inferences, etc. How do you arrive at these? How do you determine what the Bible says? Do you use external data?

Hypothetical....................

Aaron wrote:
On 5... you have stated (I'll drop "accused" since that seems to distract you) that my case against perfect text preservation is based on naturalistic thinking. You have shown no evidence of that at all. The honest thing to do is either back it up or stop repeating it. The only "epistemological paradigm" etc. that matters here is the one that I've employed in the articles, which is simply that the Scriptures mean what they say and do not mean what they do not say. So my method is to interpret the Scriptures using the grammatical-historical method and reason to conclusions based on what is written.

  1. This is not a question of honesty. I am not trying to deceive anyone. It's hard to stay away from those emotional words, isn't it? We all use them because they are favorable to our viewpoints.
  2. As a hypothetical question, am I required to offer proof if I say it was revealed to me in a vision? To require proof is naturalistic (i.e. observable)/rationalistic (i.e. meets my logic requirements)/modernistic (i.e. presupposed tenet of Modernism).
  3. In light of your proposed epistemology ("For purposes of the present discussion, it's just this: Bible says it, I believe it. Bible doesn't say it, I might or might not, depending on where other evidence points."), would you agree with the attitude and spirit of the following quote? "The truth is, Fundamentalist epistemology has more in common with the foolish “wisdom of the world” than with the gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:17-31). True proclamation must determine with Paul “to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2)" [URL=http://www.mainstreambaptists.org/mob/sbc_deifies_bible.htm [/URL ]
  4. I can see not room in the methods you employ and try to impose upon me for the leading into by the Holy Spirit. This is typical of naturalistic/rationalistic/modernistic methodology.
  5. Is your epistemology different from what you learned at BJU. If not, it is naturalistic/modernistic/modernistic as I repeatedly said, "Fundamentalism uses the methods of Modernism to refute Modernism."
  6. Basic to the concept of naturalistic/rationalistic/modernistic epistemology is the idea that claims which cannot be proved are irrational, or false, or contrary to evidence. It seems that you have tried to force this view upon me thus identifying your epistemology with naturalistic/rationalistic/modernistic epistemology.

Will everyone shoot at me?

Let's see if I can draw fire from all sides.

Quote:
1. I believe that God has miraculously preserved His revealed, inspired Word in a line of texts, known as the Majority Text, from the time of inspiration until the present.
2. I believe that we have God's inspired Word present in written form today.
3. I believe that the Believing Church is the recipient, conservator, transmitter, guardian, and preserver of God's Word.
4. I believe that God's preservative power and acts are presupposed in our acceptance of canonization and inspiration.
5.I believe that the same reasoning that leads us to plenary verbal (The Bible does not say plenary verbal) inspiration with the inferences of inerrancy, infallibility, etc. are applicable to establishing the doctrine of preservation.
6. I believe that any faithful translation based on the MT is God's inspired Word in the English language.
7. I do not believe or accept Ancient Critical Text Theory because I don't accept the idea that older is better.

8. Because of my position on the MT, I have my doubts about the inclusion of I John 5:7.

There. That should bring me enough pain and suffering for today.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Who developed the historical-grammatical method?

Aaron wrote:
On 5... you have stated (I'll drop "accused" since that seems to distract you) that my case against perfect text preservation is based on naturalistic thinking. You have shown no evidence of that at all. The honest thing to do is either back it up or stop repeating it. The only "epistemological paradigm" etc. that matters here is the one that I've employed in the articles, which is simply that the Scriptures mean what they say and do not mean what they do not say. So my method is to interpret the Scriptures using the grammatical-historical method and reason to conclusions based on what is written.

Would you agree with the following? Do you use this methodology?
Quote:
The historical-grammatical method is a Christian hermeneutics process that strives to discover the Biblical author's original intended meaning in the text. [1 ] It is the primary method of interpretation for scholars in the major branches of Christianity: Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox.[2 ] [3 ] The terms grammatico-historical, historico-grammatical and historical-cultural are regarded as synonymous with historical-grammatical.
The process for determining the original meaning of the text is through examination of the grammatical and syntactical aspects, the historical background, the literary genre as well as theological (canonical) considerations.[4 ] The historical-grammatical method distinguishes between the one original meaning of the text and its significance. The significance of the text is essentially the application or contextualization of the principles from text.
Well, it appears to me that the historical-grammatical uses materials external to Scripture. Thus, I don't think your methodology is "just this: Bible says it, I believe it. Bible doesn't say it, I might or might not, depending on where other evidence points." I think that you determine what the Bible says by using a form of naturalistic/rationalistic/modernistic methodology, the historical-grammatical method. Where is room for the work of the Holy Spirit? Yet, Jesus clearly stated that the Holy Spirit would lead us in all truth (John 16:13). Am I correct?
Quote:
Many practice the historical-grammatical method using the inductive method, a general three-fold approach to the text: 1) observation, 2) interpretation, and 3) application. [6 ] [7 ] Each step builds upon the other, and so they follow in order. The first step of observation involves an examination of words, structure, structural relationships and literary forms. After observations are formed, then the second step of interpretation involves asking interpretative questions, formulating answers to those questions, integration and summarization of the passage. After the meaning is derived through interpretation, then the third step of application involves determining both the theoretical and practical significance of the text, and appropriately applying this significance to today's modern context. There is also a heavy emphasis on personal application that extends into all aspects of the practitioner's life. Theologian Robert Traina, in his 1952 Methodical Bible Study, wrote that "the applicatory step is that for which all else exists. It represents the final purpose of Bible study." [8 ]
Where is the Holy Spirit? Compare this to another method also with Enlightenment roots, the Historical-Critical Method.
Quote:
The historical-critical method is an interpretative technique employed by many academic Bible scholars in secular universities, as well as some Christian theologians. The method utilizes higher criticism in an attempt to discover the sources and factors that contributed to the making of the text as well as determining what it meant to the original audience. The historical-critical method treats the Bible in the same way as other human texts and, embracing a naturalistic methodology, precludes interpretations which allow prophetic foresight on part of the authors[11 ]. Historical-critical scholars as such are also typically less interested in determining what the text means for people today. For these reasons conservative Christians tend to reject the method.
Where is the Holy Spirit?

The question still remains

RPittman wrote:
Well, it appears to me that the historical-grammatical uses materials external to Scripture.

Clearly, whatever method you are using does the same, when you come to conclusions about the Received Text and the KJV.

Let's say for the sake of argument you grow up in a country with only one translation of the Bible available in your language, and the text used for that translation was the critical text. What information coming from the scriptures themselves would allow you to determine you had an errant Bible and that the basis for the translation you are reading is incorrect?

Dave Barnhart

What question?

dcbii wrote:
RPittman wrote:
Well, it appears to me that the historical-grammatical uses materials external to Scripture.

Clearly, whatever method you are using does the same, when you come to conclusions about the Received Text and the KJV.
Dave, you seemed to have missed all of the points.

  1. Aaron, not me, was the one who claimed that he was only using the Bible. Well, that's not realistic and not accurate. And you fail to connect the dots of how my method clearly does the same. What method am I using? What external sources does it use? (BTW, I do use external sources--we all do--that's my point. ]
  2. I only use the Bible is pious fluff. It's just spiritual oneupmanship.
    1. We use external sources to understand the Bible
    2. We use external sources for things about which the Bible does not speak
    3. We, modern Fundamentalists, use the basic epistemology as the Modernists. That's what I'm trying to establish but Aaron, et. al. have a hangup about admitting this. They can't shake off what they've been taught. Until they deliberately alter their paradigm and look at things through different spectacles, they will never see until they change the lens through which they view the world.[/quote]

      Quote:
      Let's say for the sake of argument you grow up in a country with only one translation of the Bible available in your language, and the text used for that translation was the critical text. What information coming from the scriptures themselves would allow you to determine you had an errant Bible and that the basis for the translation you are reading is incorrect?
      Perhaps the Holy Spirit would guide me.

Editing the Scriptures....................

Ron Bean wrote:
Let's see if I can draw fire from all sides.
Quote:
1. I believe that God has miraculously preserved His revealed, inspired Word in a line of texts, known as the Majority Text, from the time of inspiration until the present.
2. I believe that we have God's inspired Word present in written form today.
3. I believe that the Believing Church is the recipient, conservator, transmitter, guardian, and preserver of God's Word.
4. I believe that God's preservative power and acts are presupposed in our acceptance of canonization and inspiration.
5.I believe that the same reasoning that leads us to plenary verbal (The Bible does not say plenary verbal) inspiration with the inferences of inerrancy, infallibility, etc. are applicable to establishing the doctrine of preservation.
6. I believe that any faithful translation based on the MT is God's inspired Word in the English language.
7. I do not believe or accept Ancient Critical Text Theory because I don't accept the idea that older is better.

8. Because of my position on the MT, I have my doubts about the inclusion of I John 5:7.

There. That should bring me enough pain and suffering for today.

Ron, you are perfectly right and consistent to do so. There are reasons for doubt if you hold to a naturalistic/rationalistic/modernistic epistemology. But, why stop here. Scripture cannot be sustained in such a system taken to its logical conclusion. Nothing is to be believed or accepted without proof that includes observable, verifiable, and replicable components. The Fundamentalists were only able to maintain their beliefs by exclusions and not following the system to its end. Their system is a selective semi-permeable membrane. So, let's take it further and chop out additional hunks of Scripture where it may be doubtful. What do you think?

Stuck in a rut...............................

Aaron, I've found this particular thread most unimaginative particularly during the last few days. It seems that folks became stuck in a rut. There has been a poverty of ideas in that no one was able to envision any other possibilities other than their own. It was not a question of which possibility was right and which possibility was wrong but it was a matter of no other possibilities. Well, the link below may offer some subtle possibilities to rejuvenate your imaginative powers. That is unless one is brain dead. Smile As someone observed, a rut is a grave with the ends kicked out.
http://benbyerly.wordpress.com/2009/07/31/the-limitations-of-historical-...

External source.........

Do I use external sources? Yep, sure do. Here's one:

Quote:
(Westminster Confession of Faith, chapt. 1, viii.) The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical;(1) so as, in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them.(2) But, because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them,(3) therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come,(4) that the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship Him in an acceptable manner;(5) and, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope.(6)

  1. Mt 5:18
  2. Isa 8:20; Ac 15:15; Jn 5:39,46
  3. Jn 5:39
  4. 1Co 14:6,9,11,12,24,27, 28
  5. Col 3:16
  6. Ro 15:4

    [emphasis added ]

Well, at least, we know some Christians believed in preservation before the rise of Modernism. It is not an entirely new doctrine as some of its opponents insist.

Missed -- no, bypassing -- yes

RPittman wrote:
Dave, you seemed to have missed all of the points.

I've been paying attention, but I have been waiting to see how all of this plays out.
Quote:
And you fail to connect the dots of how my method clearly does the same.What method am I using? What external sources does it use?

I may have been unclear about what I meant, but the dots are connected well enough, and I don't need to know either your method or sources:

1. You have come to conclusions about the Received Text and KJV being the proper vehicles for preservation.

2. Neither of these are referred to in scripture.

3. Therefore, you are using something external to the scriptures to come to your conclusions. QED.

Quote:
We use external sources for things about which the Bible does not speak.

Agreed. Yet you seem to decry natural observation as being unworthy of use. However, even the scriptures declare that things about God can be revealed through natural revelation. That means that both observations and conclusions for those observations are considered by God to be valid methods of evaluating information (in fact, man will be held accountable for them), though they do not trump God's direct revelation.

I would agree (though I know some don't), that the Bible teaches preservation of God's word. It nowhere teaches that preservation was in the received text (or any particular text), or that the KJV was the only valid translation of God's word for English-speaking people. The authors of TSKT (a book I own and have read twice, the second time making annotations) argue that not only can preservation be shown from scripture, that the conclusions about the received text and KJV can be drawn from "proper" interpretation of scripture. I do not believe that the authors have sufficiently shown that such conclusions MUST follow from scripture.

Obviously, even the TSKT authors are using some external sources, as they rely on Greek lexicons and other tools in the writing of this book, in which they attempt to present the scriptural argument for their view of preservation. To some extent, we all do. However, I believe it's perfectly appropriate to attempt to use the same technique (make the argument from scripture, instead of history, etc.) to refute a work that the work itself is using. I think you are being intentionally obtuse when you make the claims you do about not recognizing we all use external sources, etc.

Quote:

We, modern Fundamentalists, use the basic epistemology as the Modernists. That's what I'm trying to establish...

Are you including yourself by saying "we," after you have declared that you have renounced any modernist epistemology? You do switch to "they" fairly quickly after this, so I suppose this use of we might have been a mistake.

Quote:
They can't shake off what they've been taught. Until they deliberately alter their paradigm and look at things through different spectacles, they will never see until they change the lens through which they view the world.

I'm curious what lens you believe you are using and how you think you can completely remove a modernist one from your own thinking. Believing you can is not the same as actually being able to do so.

Quote:
Perhaps the Holy Spirit would guide me.

If I understand the scriptures correctly, the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth *through* the scriptures. Well, in my posited case, the scriptures would be what you have in front of you, flawed or not. Are you arguing you would receive special, extra-scriptural revelation that would tell you the scriptures you have are false? If so, what would make it possible for you to discard certain words rather than distrust the whole work, and the basis for your belief in a Holy Spirit?

Dave Barnhart

Other means?

RPittman wrote:
You are still trying to press me into the naturalistic/rationalistic/modernistic mindset. Aren't you aware that there other means of knowledge other than evidence-proof method.

OK, Roland. We should all believe you just because you say so. No reasons required... because requiring reasons is the naturalistic-rationalistic paradigm and we shouldn't force you into it.

On the grammatical historical method
Of course I use external information to interpret Scripture. Everyone does. Words do not have meaning without reference to things in our experience. And the principle of author's intent in interpreting Scripture has been well established for a very long time. This is not the same thing as building a case on external evidence. Rather, I have made my case based on the evidence of Scripture. (FWIW, I'm not crazy about the wikipedia excerpts you quoted. There are many better places to read up on the grammatical-historical method.)

Where is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit never promised to do our thinking for us, Roland.

Where you seem to be going is the idea that there is some direct route to knowledge of the meaning of Scripture apart from employing the faculties of the mind. Do you hold to perfect text preservation because you believe the Holy Spirit has revealed it to you directly? Because you have grasped this truth intuitively? Received it in a vision?
That may be good enough for you, but it will not persuade others. This is why the writers of TSKT didn't simply publish a one-page book in which they reported "God has revealed to us by 'other means of knowledge than evidence-proof method' that He has preserved a word-perfect text of the Bible down to today, and it's the TR."

Instead, they interpreted passages using the grammatical historical method and offered reasoned conclusions to support their claims. You would do well to take that approach as well!

I happen to believe they executed the grammatical historical method poorly in lots of places and also reasoned badly to conclusions that don't follow, but their method is the right one and the same one I'm using.

No disrespect intended, Roland, but "other means of knowledge" is the ultimate cop out. It basically declares your view to be beyond all debate.
At least the TSKT guys are trying to give people something to think about.

A few more comments

I left this thread at post #5 or 6 I think, and only just came back and read the rest. I'm dumbfounded as many others are as to Pittman's responses.

I would agree we need more than just naturalistic methods for Bible interpretation, we need Spirit-filled teachers and the Spirit does guide the church. Illumination is key, as 1 Cor. 2:14 teaches that a natural man is not able to understand the Word. Still the principle of finding the author's intent goes back way before modernity. It predates the Reformation as well.

I find it odd that RP gives a list of declarations that he believes and is prepared to contend for. Then when Bob Torpatzer and others ask for that defense and contention, he refuses to give it.

It appears that the Spirit's teaching the church, and the common faith that we have inherited as members of the church, plays a role in RP's thinking as revelatory or at least a way of gaining knowledge. Still, citing the WCF doesn't take the day. That statement in its specificity was relatively new in the history of the church, and given in the day of much debate with the Romanists. Still, it doesn't exactly say that the copies of Scripture they had were confessionally held to be equal to the Scripture as given originally. Furthermore, some of the signers and fellow Reformed leaders and thinkers (all pre-Modernity, mind you) reveal that they don't shun any text-critical sort of thinking. Turretin, Calvin, Luther all sought evidence in ancient copies about whether certain readings were genuine. Beza and Stephanus added textual notes to their TR editions.

On the 2 Tim. 3:16 point, you do know the words aren't equivalent necessarily in vs. 15 and vs. 16. Vs. 15 has grammata and vs. 16 has graphe. I contend that the in the word theopneustos in vx. 6 (inspired of God) implies a one-time event. That event (God's breathing out the Word) left the resultant text with a particular quality. That quality extends to the copies that Timothy had in vs. 15, but not because the copies are exactly identical in every particular. But because they are generally faithful copies of the text of Scripture and so share the quality Scripture has. So I find the hamburger analogy still holds pretty well. Saying Timothy was made wise to salvation by the scriptures he had. And that every Scripture is inspired, does not say anything about how accurate the copies that Timothy had were.

I do say it appears awful convenient for RP to sidestep argumentation altogether in this by denouncing our epistemology. What may be lost in the shuffle on this, is that he hasn't shown how or why we should believe that he is using his different epistemology correctly. It's almost as if he just uses that to obscure matters and he does this because this particular topic is touchy or something.

That is how it appears. Honestly, Roland, if you really want to convince us that our epistemology is totally misguided, then try being irenic and humble and show us patiently how to get where you are. The Spirit has guided a good many of us, along with the majority of the English speaking church, to accept and make wise use of modern English Bible versions. And He has guided us on the basis of many texts in Scripture too.

Striving for the unity of the faith, for the glory of God ~ Eph. 4:3, 13; Rom. 15:5-7 I blog at Fundamentally Reformed. Follow me on Twitter.

Think about it.....................

Bob Hayton wrote:
I find it odd that RP gives a list of declarations that he believes and is prepared to contend for. Then when Bob Torpatzer and others ask for that defense and contention, he refuses to give it.
Bob, I find it odd that you didn't see why I refused. Bob T was defining the rules. My reasons are not cogent in a context of Modernity, which is prejudicial against anything that cannot be observed, verified, and replicated. Before we can have intelligent dialogue, these guys must realize that they must judge my points within my paradigm as I have tried to refute their points within their frame-of-reference. We are describing things from different frames-of-reference. What's hard to understand about that?

Is it significant?

[quote=Bob Hayton ]On the 2 Tim. 3:16 point, you do know the words aren't equivalent necessarily in vs. 15 and vs. 16. Vs. 15 has grammata and vs. 16 has graphe.[quote]Of course, I was aware of this but I don't attach the importance or significance to it that you do. As far as I can tell, γραμμα is translated Scripture only once but γραφη occurs about 51 times and is translated Scriptures. Yet, it is apparent that both refer to the same thing. If you think otherwise, then you going to have to explain. Look at the context and flow. Don't get hung up on variety of word choice and create an artifact.

RPittman wrote: Aaron, I've

RPittman wrote:
Aaron, I've found this particular thread most unimaginative particularly during the last few days. It seems that folks became stuck in a rut. There has been a poverty of ideas in that no one was able to envision any other possibilities other than their own. It was not a question of which possibility was right and which possibility was wrong but it was a matter of no other possibilities. Well, the link below may offer some subtle possibilities to rejuvenate your imaginative powers. That is unless one is brain dead. Smile As someone observed, a rut is a grave with the ends kicked out.
http://benbyerly.wordpress.com/2009/07/31/the-limitations-of-historical-...

Roland,

I greatly enjoyed this article. I almost entirely agree with him. But a redemptive historical interpretation doesn't lead by necessity to a complete overturn of epistemological structures and a rejection of any resort to evidence.

Striving for the unity of the faith, for the glory of God ~ Eph. 4:3, 13; Rom. 15:5-7 I blog at Fundamentally Reformed. Follow me on Twitter.

Answer............................

Jon Bell wrote:
RPittman wrote:
Well, Jon, you gotta help me here in order to at least understand. …Then why did you bring it up if it doesn't apply to those posting here?

[Getting a little aggravated but attempting to remain charitable. ]
Here's some help, Mr. Pittman. One. Tell me how you can posit #1 and #6 on your list. You don't have to write a book. Just give the outline. A leads to B leads to C or whatever epistemological method you want to use.

It doesn't work this way. Mine is not a linear argument. It's hypertext with a feel and recognition of the geometric patterns. It's somewhat like Chaos Theory.
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Two. I minister in an area that is full of other "frame of reference" and so I have heard a lot of the arguments but not one of them that avoided the problem that we are discussing here, namely the Bible teaches preservation but does not tell us exactly how that works.
Right! Yet, it must have some practical application or it becomes a meaningless abstract.
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Three. You still sound as if you are asking us to just accept on faith that God has miraculously preserved his word exclusively in the KJV and the TR without any rational proof or evidence from scripture or church history or any kind of objective standard.
Now your trying to force us back under the other Modernist system. What's wrong with faith?
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Four. Thanks for admitting that there could be another miraculous translation as good as the KJV--so how would we recognize it?
This point was never contested.
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Five. I brought up the straw man because it was germane.
Not so. It did not represent a position of anyone in this thread.
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Six. As for not answering questions, my whole post was about wanting (honestly interested in wanting!) to hear your explanation of how I might know where God's Word was residing if I was a non-english speaker now or say prior to 1500.
I wouldn't know unless I was in the situation. I don't know of any formula. Two things for consideration are the Believing church and the Holy Spirit.

Sola Scriptura... and doctrine

There is a reason that the "believing church" embraced sola scriptura during the Reformation.
Among other things, how does one tell the difference between the Holy Spirit and some random intuitive impression? If we make a distinction between Holy Spirit and Scripture and suggest that Scripture is not enough to establish doctrine, we basically head into territory where any notion we happen to like can be blamed on Him.

The main reason I have focused on the biblical evidence is that the Scriptures are sufficient for doctrine and if they do not teach a doctrine of perfect text preservation, that's the end of the story as far as a "doctrine of preservation" is concerned. It is certainly possible to hold to a position of perfect text preservation based on any number of things... "the believing church" (which is really another way of saying "my understanding of church history"--external evidence), some mind-bypassing direct revelation from the Spirit (if you believe the Spirit is doing that sort of thing today), something even more bizarre, like chaos theory--or just ordinary external evidence (like looking at MSS and finding that a bunch of them match perfectly... so far, waiting for that to happen).

But any conclusion we arrive at in these ways cannot properly be called doctrine and those who disagree cannot be in "doctrinal error."

Roland, there's really no shame in saying "perfect text preservation is my opinion and I can't prove it, but I believe it." But others can't be expected to find that persuasive and it's not OK to elevate an opinion like that to the level of doctrine.
Doctrine can only properly be derived from interpreting Scripture and reasoning soundly from it. And the Holy Spirit's role in the process is mainly that of giving us the Word in the first place. Whatever else He does beyond that is debatable and, in any case, a small factor by comparison. I often think we are insulting Him when we insist on something more than what He has already inspired for us for doctrine, reproof and instruction in righteousness.

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