Preservation: How and What? Part 3

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.

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RPittman's picture

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.

Aaron Blumer's picture

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.
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.

Bob Hayton's picture

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.

Bob Hayton's picture

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.

Jon Bell's picture

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

RPittman's picture

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.
Quote:

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.
Quote:

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?
Quote:
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.

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.
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.

RPittman's picture

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?
Quote:
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.

RPittman's picture

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.

Aaron Blumer's picture

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.

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.

    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.

RPittman's picture

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

RPittman's picture

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? ;-(

Quote:
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.
Aaron Blumer's picture

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.

MShep2's picture

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

RPittman's picture

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?

Jon Bell's picture

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

RPittman's picture

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?
RPittman's picture

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.

Aaron Blumer's picture

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.

RPittman's picture

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.

Jon Bell's picture

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

Bob T.'s picture

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

RPittman's picture

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.

RPittman's picture

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?

Aaron Blumer's picture

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?

RPittman's picture

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.

Aaron Blumer's picture

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)

Greg Long's picture

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

Aaron Blumer's picture

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.

RPittman's picture

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

Jon Bell's picture

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

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