Modern Scientific Textual Criticism - Bound or Independent

In 1558 William Whitaker, a master apologist for the truth of sola Scriptrua, wrote his comprehensive apology against the Roman Catholic dogma of Bellarmine and Stapleton on the topic of Holy Scripture - Disputations on Holy Scripture. Under the First Controversy and the Sixth question Whitaker writes concerning the necessity of Scripture,

"For if in civil affairs men cannot be left to themselves, but must be governed and retained in their duty by certain laws; much less should we be independent in divine things, and not rather bound by the closest ties to a prescribed and certain rule, lest we fall into a will-worship hateful to God." [523]

So for this brief post, here is the question, to those whose trust rests in the quality and certainty of modern scientific textual criticism [MSTC], in what way is MSTC "bound by the closest ties to a prescribed and certain rule" seeing that Holy Scripture falls most conspicuously under the category of "divine things"?

I maintain that MSTC is not bound but rather is a "will-worship hateful to God." For the nay-sayer, I concur that a form of textual criticism was in practice before the likes of MSTC, but that form was not of the same genus. Not of the same genus in that pre-Enlightenment textual criticism was subject to the leading of the Holy Ghost as manifested in the spirit-filled believing community of the time, whereas MSTC is subject to the scientific deductions of select scholarly board. For those perhaps a bit confused on this point, here is a slice of Theology 101. Where the Holy Spirit is leading the word of God is also present, and where the word of God is present so also is the leading of the Holy Spirit. MSTC pretends no such thing. You need not look any further than the several prefaces to the various editions of the leading Greek NT's on the market today. The goal of the MSTC scientific exercise is not for certainty, truth, or doxology, but for scientific worship of their own wills by oppressing the church with their findings and declaring all others uneducated, ignorant, and old-fashioned. So I conclude, where the Spirit of God is leading, the word of God accompanies that leading, thus pre-Enlightenment textual criticism is not of the same genus as MSTC, and should not be considered as such.

For those who seek to position MSTC with in the limits of the "prescribed and certain rule" [i.e. Holy Scripture], know that if you cannot, then you are in danger of condoning, supporting, and advancing a "will-worship hateful to God." Why is it will-worship? Because MSTC's goal is professedly not that of God's will but of a never-ending scientific endeavor governed by the limitations of human cognition to locate God's words. [i.e. men worshipping their own will to decide certain content qualities of divine revelation] Why is it hateful to God? A willful act not subject to the will of God is what brought us sin and the fall of man. Thus, MSTC is nothing more than an present day extension of that god-overthrowing will evidenced by our first parents.

The purpose of this post is to sharpen the iron of the supporters of the MSTC, by challenging them to locate MSTC in the greater exegetical and historical tapestry of Bibliology and if they cannot, to abandon MSTC as a system suitable for the work of Christ's Kingdom.

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Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Brother Blumer, I am delighted to see that you have not yet rested your case.

Thank you for your post Brother Van Emmerik.

Quote:
It seems you contradict your entire position with this statement. How can these be great translations when they are different from the KJV?

It is hard for the believing community in the West to come to grips with certain aspects of history. History bears out terrible atrocities and oppressive tyrants. These are not things that we wrestle with on a day-to-day basis. One thing that is often difficult to grasp is the fact that there was a time when God's word was not in our language. There were no personal devotions. There was no street preaching by the average Christian with zeal. There were no family devotions around the table. I think you get the point. Then there arose men like William Tyndale who took it upon themselves in the face of present day scholarship and the ecclesiastical elites to live and die by the conclusion that if the word of God has come to English speakers then it should be in English. It was at this time that the process for the English Bible began. The self-attesting word of God in Greek and Hebrew bore witness with the Spirit filled believing community that knew how to read those languages. But when the Holy Scriptures came to English speaking land, the process of English translation must needs be undertaken. That is to say that the English translation work was not the beginning of the struggle to fulfill the great commission with regard to the spread of God's words rather it was another step among many. That said I hope to offer an example that will help you understand how translations before the KJB were good translations and why those that came after are bad.

The example begins with a cardinal doctrine of the faith - the Holy Trinity. We all have grown up in our respective churches. Our pastors teach it to us and our schools of higher learning explain some of the details, but there was a time when the believing community struggled over the formulation of this doctrine. The believing community had to wrestle against the heathens (polytheists and pantheists) as well as the Tritheists in the codification of the doctrine that God is one. In addition to that the believing community had to wrestle against the Socinians and the Remonstrance to the fact that God is one substance and three subsistences or persons. Once the distinctions of person and essence had been ironed out and once the question of whether homoousion should be admitted in the Trinitarian language, the believing community as moved by the Spirit looked to the self-attesting word of God for guidance, and came to an agreement that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three distinct persons in one essence. There was a process of discovery and debate about the nature of the Trinity as there was with many many other central doctrines of the faith (e.g. the hypostatic union, the virgin birth, justification); a refinement if you will. If we were in the Ancient, Medieval, or Reformation Church we would be struggling through things that we now take for granted because they are all around us in commentaries, systematic theologies, and study helps of all kinds. That said, do we hold those in contempt who did not get it right the very first time in the instant they sat down around the table of Trinity discussions? No, of course not.

Now here is where the rubber meets the road. What do we call a person who has been taught through Scripture that God is one substance and three distinct subsistences, but that soul rejects this truth and declares something contrary to that. Perhaps he is a nominalist or a modalist, and he rejects the truth of the Trinity. Is this man allowed to preach in your church? No. Is this man allowed to teach his form of doctrine in Sunday School? No. Why is it that we allow for young Christians who have only been saved for a few weeks but haven't grasped as much of the Scripture as the pastor has and as such manifests need for improvement in his Christian walk, but we do not allow for a pastor to stand up and say, "Hell does not exist"? The difference is in where the person is found in the process. The young Christian/early Church have yet to come into a more mature knowledge of what lay before them in revelation. But the pastor in the present day who denies the existence of Hell, may receive church discipline because he knows the truth and has turned from it to his own devices.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

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Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Track with me. I say Tyndale's NT and the Geneva were good translations because they were in process leading toward a conclusion or final product. I do not throw them under the bus so to speak because they were maturing from no English translation to a codified canon in their own language. Tyndale's NT, Coverdale, Matthews, the Great Bible, Geneva, Bishops, and KJB all represent a maturation, the one pointing to the next. I say "pointing" for two reasons. First, the self-attesting word of God in these versions coupled with the Spirits leading in the believing community guided the Church along the way to the better translation. (incidentally, not better translations) Tyndale's NT was in 1529 and the KJB comes on the scene in 1611 and does not enjoy full acceptance by the believing community until about 1640. Second, at no point did the translators of the Geneva throw out the findings of the Tyndale or the other versions and start from scratch. That is to say that it took the believing community 100+ years to transition over 8 or so English versions all building off their respective predecessors, culminating in the King James Bible.

After the King James Bible, the Spirit of God working in the people of God through the word of God paradigm was never again visited by post-Enlightenment scholarship in the formation of any of the modern English Bibles. It is evident even hear on SI in the examples of Brother Blumer and Brother Van Emmerik who refuse to visit said paradigm.

Post-Enlightenment scratched Tyndale’s work and the Spirits leading of the believing community through a process of maturation toward the KJB. Post-Enlightenment scholarship ignored the methodology of the Spirit of God>people of God>word of God paradigm and put in its place science (oldest is best, shortest is best, hardest is best which never before existed). Pre-Enlightenment, science and philosophy were the hand maidens of theology and the believing community, not forces that dictated to the believing community.

As a result a wholly different product immerged post-Enlightenment.

Yes, it bore certain likenesses to text of the believing community, but the search for the historical bible has become like the search for the historical Jesus fraught with uncertainty and impossible to conclude. The conclusion is ultimately this, there was a maturation process and it lead to the KJB. Post-Enlightenment scholarship has abandoned that maturation process and subsequent conclusions, and has started afresh and anew. As a result, whether wittingly or otherwise, MSTC has carried us back to the uncertainty of the middle ages, and it appears that there are some here on SI that happily defend such retardation of traditional orthodoxy. One final point, and I believe a grave one. What would we say to a mature saint who rejected the existence of Hell? More appropriately, what would we say to a mature Christian who rejected the existence of an already codified Spirit lead, self-attesting sacred text?

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

RPittman's picture

Aaron wrote:
On "no mention of the Holy Spirit"
See letters d, f, g and h here.

Roland wrote:
I believe a reasonable Biblical case can be presented that our understanding of Scripture is illumined by the Holy Spirit without which we cannot spiritually discern Scripture[emphasis added ]

This is not in dispute. Read my post again. Look carefully for distinctions.

Aaron, you have a bad habit of selectively quoting me out of context. Your snippets makes things appear differently from what they are.

  1. In past conversations, you have hedged on discussing the Holy Spirit's role in translation and illumination. You have strictly limited the Spirit's role to inspiration.
  2. You have previously denied any role for the Holy Spirit in translation.
  3. I have not seen you accord the Holy Spirit any role in text reconstruction.
  4. Your mention of the role of the Holy Spirit was limited to salvation, inspiration (as in the original autographs), and personal application, first mentioned in this thread. By your argument for a rational interpretation of Scripture, it appeared that you still were supporting these positions and limits. Now, it appears that you have changed ever so slightly and no longer contest my above statement that you once ridiculed. In d, f, g and h here, you are speaking more or less in terms of personal application as I understand it. You are not portraying the Holy Spirit as the essential element of Biblical understanding, which you reserve for reason. Or, did I misunderstand you.
RPittman's picture

Quote:
Roland wrote:
Quote:
Aaron wrote:
I believe God has not seen fit to keep the copies of Scripture from error, but has graciously preserved His word here below in the form we have it.

How do you know? Is this a rationally derived conclusion because of the variants?

Aaron wrote:
I'm having hard time believing you really need an answer to this. But, FWIW... If two MSS disagree, one of them is in error. Errors exist, ergo, God permitted them to exist.
Aaron, your quoting of posts is like the Congressional Record -- it gets rewritten after the fact. I think you strategically left out some things.
Quote:
How do you know? Is this a rationally derived conclusion because of the variants?

Also, your preservation statement appears self-contradictory. Do you really mean to imply that God has preserved His Word with errors? It seem more logical to say He has seen fit not to preserve it. Check my logic.

Premise: All present copies of Scripture contain errors.
Premise: God has graciously preserved His Word here below in the present form.
Conclusion: God has graciously preserved His Word here below with errors.

Now, Aaron, this is where the rub comes. What do you mean by errors. You have never defined this even though I asked repeatedly. You brush me off. Are variants necessarily errors? I don't think so. How do you know they are errors? This goes back to your static view of language. I don't have the time and space to lay out this argument here but I do not accept the existence of text variants as conclusive proof of errors in the text. Some texts, of course, do have errors. But, a variant in a text does not necessarily mean that text is erroneous.


Aaron wrote:
Really? OK, I guess.... Error=something incorrect.

Roland wrote:
Because you seem informed and on speaking terms with the field of "text reconstruction," you surely realize that the reconstruction of the Biblical text is a part of the larger scholarly field of text reconstruction in literature, philosophy, etc. Do you agree with the current trend that the edited text is many times the correct text because...

It's way simipler than any of that. MSS's differ. When they do, at least one of them is wrong. Figuring out which is mostly likely correct requires evaluating them in some way, by some criteria. There are no divinely inspired criteria or scientifically "final" criteria. Just ideas that have more or less merit.
But regardless of what the particular criteria are, the evaluation process is what translation teams like the guys who brought us ESV, NIV, NASB, etc. did--this is textual reconstruction. "Textual reconstruction" here means "doing your best to get the text right when you have copies that don't match." Nothing more. Nothing less.

Many times an author revises his work. Some, such as Solzhenitsyn, went through many versions before and after publication. Now, which revision is the correct one? How do you know. I think you're being overly simplistic in a very complicated and snarled tangle.
Aaron wrote:
One more thing about variants = errors. Verbal inspiration is the doctrine that God gave us the words of Scripture, not "semantic content" or concepts or some such. Therefore, when MSS disagree, there is always an error in one or the other (if not both).
Please document your Scriptural support here.
Quote:

But even from a purely historical perspective it's obvious that variant=error. There was a moment when Paul wrote the words of Romans 1:1. What he actually wrote is what he wrote... any copy that differs is in error at any point where it differs.

How do you know this? It is apparent that God allowed some latitude by the differing styles, word usage, vocabulary, etc. of the inspired writers.[/quote]
There's no need to obscure the situation by dragging in weird linguistic theories.[/quote]It appears that you are arguing according to a 19th century linguistic theory. Are you saying that God's Word is locked into these specific Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic words? Do you have Scriptural support for your view of verbal inspiration? From your statements, it appears that you may hold to a dictation theory. Is that correct? If so, I can understand why any word variance whatsoever would be considered an error.

Furthermore, why don't you try to reconcile the II Timothy 3:15-17 problem?

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

To both Peter and Roland... you're both having trouble focusing on what's relevant here. If your position is that the traditional text has a unique claim to authenticity because the believing community preserved it with special aid from the Spirit and that all alternative texts must be rejected because they are the product of "modern science," most of the stuff you're posting has nothing to do with proving your position.

That said, I don't mind making my own views as clear as I can.

RPittman wrote:

  1. In past conversations, you have hedged on discussing the Holy Spirit's role in translation and illumination. You have strictly limited the Spirit's role to inspiration.
  2. You have previously denied any role for the Holy Spirit in translation.
  3. I have not seen you accord the Holy Spirit any role in text reconstruction.
  4. Your mention of the role of the Holy Spirit was limited to salvation, inspiration (as in the original autographs), and personal application, first mentioned in this thread. By your argument for a rational interpretation of Scripture, it appeared that you still were supporting these positions and limits. Now, it appears that you have changed ever so slightly and no longer contest my above statement that you once ridiculed. In d, f, g and h here, you are speaking more or less in terms of personal application as I understand it. You are not portraying the Holy Spirit as the essential element of Biblical understanding, which you reserve for reason. Or, did I misunderstand you.


To #1: Where have I hedged? If we're going to talk about "past conversations," how about quoting or linking? But really, we're not having a past conversation; we're having a present one. This thread is not about translation and illumination. It's about the text translators start out with.
One gets the impression that you guys know you don't have a case so you continually go off on rabbit trails.

To #2: Where did I do that? But why are you bringing it up now? Not relevant. See #1.

To #3: You must have missed it. A key component in my argument is that the role of Spirit cannot be biblically limited to direct revelations to the mind independently of reasoning. So we cannot claim that the believing community that preserved the traditional text had some kind of unique Spirit aid that believers engaged in textual criticism as scholars do not have. The Spirit is able to guide reasoning.

To #4: I don't know how to explain it any better than I already have. We understand what the Bible teaches by using our brains. We understand that it is true, relates to us and makes particular demands on us that we must obey by the Spirit. This is pretty much "application." But what's important is not what we label it, but rather what it is.

More later. Got some driving to do.

RP wrote:
...I think you strategically left out some things.
I quoted your question and answered it.

Rp wrote:
Many times an author revises his work. Some, such as Solzhenitsyn, went through many versions before and after publication. Now, which revision is the correct one? How do you know. I think you're being overly simplistic in a very complicated and snarled tangle.
More irrelevancies.
Surely we are agreed that Solzhenitsyn did not write the Bible. I have no idea which of his is the correct edition.
But, as I've already pointed out, the Spirit only inspired one letter to the Romans, one book of Genesis, one gospel of Matthew, etc. There are no inspired revisions.

RP wrote:
Are you saying that God's Word is locked into these specific Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic words? Do you have Scriptural support for your view of verbal inspiration?

Roland, this "view" of inspiration is called "the doctrine of verbal inspiration." You have to hold to it to be a participant in the forums here. It's in the Doctrinal Statement. If you believe God inspired only concepts, you do not believe in verbal inspiration. "Verbal" means "words." "Plenary" means all of them are inspired equally.

RP wrote:
From your statements, it appears that you may hold to a dictation theory. Is that correct? If so, I can understand why any word variance whatsoever would be considered an error.

Roland, you're not thinking clearly here. Please note that these are two different questions:
How did the writers of Scripture receive the words they wrote?
What words did the writers of Scripture write?
The first question has to do with theories of the mechanics of inspiration. Dictation is one of those theories. I do not hold to dictation.
The second question concerns what the writers actually penned. What they penned, in the historic doctrine of verbal inspiration, are the very words God inspired and no others.
Therefore, any MSS that differs from the original words is in error. It may have the right concepts, but God did not give us "concepts" alone. He have us concepts in the form of particular words.

RP wrote:
Furthermore, why don't you try to reconcile the II Timothy 3:15-17 problem?

What problem?

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Larry's picture

Moderator

While I am waiting for your response to my previous questions, let me add a question about this:

Quote:
What would we say to a mature saint who rejected the existence of Hell? More appropriately, what would we say to a mature Christian who rejected the existence of an already codified Spirit lead, self-attesting sacred text?
Are you arguing that acceptance of one of the editions of the TR or one of the editions of the KJV has the same revealed biblical basis as hell?

Jay's picture

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
I say "pointing" for two reasons. First, the self-attesting word of God in these versions coupled with the Spirits leading in the believing community guided the Church along the way to the better translation. (incidentally, not better translations) Tyndale's NT was in 1529 and the KJB comes on the scene in 1611 and does not enjoy full acceptance by the believing community until about 1640. Second, at no point did the translators of the Geneva throw out the findings of the Tyndale or the other versions and start from scratch. That is to say that it took the believing community 100+ years to transition over 8 or so English versions all building off their respective predecessors, culminating in the King James Bible.

After the King James Bible, the Spirit of God working in the people of God through the word of God paradigm was never again visited by post-Enlightenment scholarship in the formation of any of the modern English Bibles. It is evident even hear on SI in the examples of Brother Blumer and Brother Van Emmerik who refuse to visit said paradigm.

...Yes, it bore certain likenesses to text of the believing community, but the search for the historical bible has become like the search for the historical Jesus fraught with uncertainty and impossible to conclude. The conclusion is ultimately this, there was a maturation process and it lead to the KJB. Post-Enlightenment scholarship has abandoned that maturation process and subsequent conclusions, and has started afresh and anew. As a result, whether wittingly or otherwise, MSTC has carried us back to the uncertainty of the middle ages, and it appears that there are some here on SI that happily defend such retardation of traditional orthodoxy. One final point, and I believe a grave one. What would we say to a mature saint who rejected the existence of Hell? More appropriately, what would we say to a mature Christian who rejected the existence of an already codified Spirit lead, self-attesting sacred text?


Peter,

1. How do you know that the KJB is the 'final product' or 'conclusion' of these works?
2. By what means do we know that this absolutely the work of God and not the work of Satan, trying to spread lies and deceit about the revelation of one final and authoritative text family?
3. By what means will we ever know of a new divine act that gives us an updated language for the KJB? Can such a thing ever happen?
4. How can we know God's revelation in another 500 years?

Finally, and more importantly,
4. Do you hold to a double-inspiration view? Can you affirm Doctrinal Statement 1.1, which says:

SharperIron wrote:

Among other important truths, registered SharperIron users hold to the following:
1. The plenary Divine inspiration of the Scriptures in the original languages, their consequent inerrancy and infallibility, and as the Word of God, the supreme and final authority in faith and life.

5. Are you using KJB to be distinct from every other version, when (I think) you would claim that they are errant or insufficient for true believers?

I ask those questions, because you make proclamations that sound like a double-inspiration view, and then come back and say that you don't believe that. This was your pattern on SI 2.0.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

RPittman's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
To both Peter and Roland... you're both having trouble focusing on what's relevant here.
Aaron, from our point of view, it is you who has trouble focusing on what is relevant. Our posts do contain arguments relative to our positions
Quote:
If your position is that the traditional text has a unique claim to authenticity because the believing community preserved it with special aid from the Spirit and that all alternative texts must be rejected because they are the product of "modern science," most of the stuff you're posting has nothing to do with proving your position.
For the most part, I was discussing the lack of foundation for the modern critical text (eclectic text).

That said, I don't mind making my own views as clear as I can.

RPittman wrote:

  1. In past conversations, you have hedged on discussing the Holy Spirit's role in translation and illumination. You have strictly limited the Spirit's role to inspiration.
  2. You have previously denied any role for the Holy Spirit in translation.
  3. I have not seen you accord the Holy Spirit any role in text reconstruction.
  4. Your mention of the role of the Holy Spirit was limited to salvation, inspiration (as in the original autographs), and personal application, first mentioned in this thread. By your argument for a rational interpretation of Scripture, it appeared that you still were supporting these positions and limits. Now, it appears that you have changed ever so slightly and no longer contest my above statement that you once ridiculed. In d, f, g and h here, you are speaking more or less in terms of personal application as I understand it. You are not portraying the Holy Spirit as the essential element of Biblical understanding, which you reserve for reason. Or, did I misunderstand you.


To #1: Where have I hedged? If we're going to talk about "past conversations," how about quoting or linking? But really, we're not having a past conversation; we're having a present one. This thread is not about translation and illumination. It's about the text translators start out with.[/quote]You're always hedging. Look at your replies here. You do not quote a statement and contradict it but you say reference XYZ that I have already answered. When we get to XYZ, it usually has nothing to do with the question under discussion. You will not answer direct questions. Your answers tend to run obliquely to the question. As for linking or quoting, your record is very poor on this. You attribute things to me without linking or quoting. And the problem is that these things are wrong attributed. When I call your hand, you don't reply. It's worth my time to try and document your meanderings. It doesn't mean that the charge is not true though.
Quote:

One gets the impression that you guys know you don't have a case so you continually go off on rabbit trails.
Reverse the charges on this one. This description fits you perfectly. And you're whining again . . . . .

To #2: Where did I do that? But why are you bringing it up now? Not relevant. See #1.[/quote]You posted in another debate that the Holy Spirit's role was limited to inspiration period! I don't have time to look it up for you to brush it off. Do if yourself if you're really interested. I'm bringing it up to show that your views are either (1) contradictory, (2) inconsistent, or (3) you have changed.

Quote:

To #3: You must have missed it. A key component in my argument is that the role of Spirit cannot be biblically limited to direct revelations to the mind independently of reasoning. So we cannot claim that the believing community that preserved the traditional text had some kind of unique Spirit aid that believers engaged in textual criticism as scholars do not have. The Spirit is able to guide reasoning.

Don't steal my points. Meh If you read my posts, you will see that I am arguing that the eclectic texts are done by basically unbelievers or Modernist/Liberals such as Metzger, the Alands, etc. Now, I'm not talking about translation, I'm speaking of text reconstruction. Who are the Christians that did the text reconstruction for the modern eclectic text? Yet, you still have not defined the Holy Spirit's role in text reconstruction.
Quote:

To #4: I don't know how to explain it any better than I already have. We understand what the Bible teaches by using our brains.

One can say that Paul specifically argued against man being able to comprehend spiritual things through his natural rational abilities. Would you agree?
We understand that it is true, relates to us and makes particular demands on us that we must obey by the Spirit. This is pretty much "application." But what's important is not what we label it, but rather what it <i>is</i>.[quote wrote:
You haven't explained it other than a lot of free floating generalities. Although you piously invoke the name of the Holy Spirit, you have given Him no real role in translation, interpretation, or preservation. Your basic methodology is still rationalism and you are not differentiating between the rationalism of unbelievers and unbelievers because you are accepting the scholarship of both.

Hugh Schonfield was an intellectual and brilliant Bible scholar. Yet, he was an unbeliever. His knowledge was purely rationalistic and scholarly. He wrote the Passover Plot that contradicts what we believe. Yet, his view is the intellectual and rationalistic view.

More later. Got some driving to do.

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Quote:
you're both having trouble focusing on what's relevant here.

Brother Blumer this is commandeering an argument which you have been attempting to do throughout this thread. It first occurred to me when you began and continue to offer only questions and then your propensity to use the language characteristic of that in the above quote solidified it in my mind. You have not done your opponents the common courtesy of knowing their position, therefore you demand that I stay within your template of constant questioning in order to engage in the discussion. At least my professors who loathed my Baptist heritage paid me the courtesy to know my position and did not try to steer my position by declaring to me what they thought was relevant or not. You have not put forth a position. You have not proven that the MSTC position in any way recognizes the leading of the Spirit in God's people. You have been unable to prove that the versions of the modern era are held by the believing community as certain and authoritative. You seem to be devoid of the standard terminology of pre-Enlightenment formulation of Bibliology. Most importantly, you have attacked a thing that you are not certain is your enemy, when if fact, in reality it is your friend. Ultimately, with regard to our present interaction you have no argument all you are doing is arguing.

Quote:
Are you arguing that acceptance of one of the editions of the TR or one of the editions of the KJV has the same revealed biblical basis as hell?

Brother Larry, the point of the post was about process and maturation. I don't know how many times I used those words in my previous post. The point is, if you find yourself in a learning process then you will most likely not get the ire of the believing community but if after you have matured and for some reason you turn from your maturity then your actions are unacceptable. Those involved in the translation of the English bibles before the KJB were maturing and as such are not judged as the more mature participant of the future. What happened with MSTC is that linguistic scholarship abandoned ship and started their own system apart from the input of the believing community, apart from recognizing the self attesting character of Scripture. If you will allow me the word, they "devolved" on purpose to serve their own wills, thus we are returned to the uncertainty of the Middle Ages.

As to your second question, you quoted me as saying "

Quote:
scientific worship of their own wills by oppressing the church with their findings and declaring all others uneducated, ignorant, and old-fashioned."

That full sentence actually says

Quote:
The goal of the MSTC scientific exercise is not for certainty, truth, or doxology, but for scientific worship of their own wills by oppressing the church with their findings and declaring all others uneducated, ignorant, and old-fashioned.

The quote I offered clearly stated the in-process character of the NA 27 and unless certainty, truth and doxology are in process that should be enough to conclude will-worship.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Brother JayC thank you for your post. We will take one question at a time.

Quote:
1. How do you know that the KJB is the 'final product' or 'conclusion' of these works?

I would put the answer to your question this way. The train that represents the English Bible tradition in pre-Enlightenment scholarship [Holy Spirit>people of God>word of God paradigm ] stopped at the KJB. Not necessarily because the believing community wanted to but because those who were suppose to be submitting to the above paradigm abandoned that previous train, built their own train, then their own track, and hire a new conductor. If there is another iteration of the pre-Enlightenment English Bible tradition, the only way to get there is to get back on the previous train. You say, "How could the believing community stray like that given your [my ] position?" I find the clearest example is when the Barnabas and even the Apostle Peter along certain saint removed themselves from the table of the Gentiles and moved to the table of the Jews. It took the lone voice of the Apostle Paul to withstand Peter to the face to set forth the Gospel as it is in the Dispensation of Grace. It does not take a whole lot to scare God's sheep. Perhaps you have never experienced this but I have in every institution I have ever attended [4 total ]. The Standard Sacred Text position is laughed at and mocked. God's sheep in the 21st century often do not have the fortitude to that sort of onslaught, and so as sheep do in real life, they wonder into the river and oil of their wool grants buoyancy and the flock floats with the current.

Quote:
2. By what means do we know that this absolutely the work of God and not the work of Satan, trying to spread lies and deceit about the revelation of one final and authoritative text family?

With post-Enlightenment theology came an accompanying post-Enlightenment hermeneutic. We know pre-Enlightenment Bibliology worked because it was based in Scripture. It

Quote:
began
with premises like not one jot or one tittle meant not one jot or one tittle. That the words "Holy Scripture" were not a substitute for the LXX. That Isaiah 59:21 showed a covenantal bond between the triune God, His people, and His word. That when the Bible said every word of God is pure, it really meant that with regard to the Bible in the hand of the reader. Heaven and Earth will pass away before God's word will pass away. The list goes on. You get a taste of this with another topic here in the English Bible Debate section where I posted a challenge. There is not an MSTC on the planet that would profess such certainty and authority concerning God's word. These words by Turretin do not grow out of some scholarly contrivance but on the belief that the purity of God's words are no good to us in Heaven, then must be present to us to affect and change us. Once note on the process thing I brought up in my last post. You will not find in the literature in the early 16th century that when the Geneva was already in circulation and the there began a transition to the KJB a spirit of "Oh that Geneva has all kinds of errors and really is not that trustworthy." Why? The believing community wouldn't say such things about the Bible when the Bible has said so many things about itself to the contrary of what is in the quotes.

Quote:
3. By what means will we ever know of a new divine act that gives us an updated language for the KJB? Can such a thing ever happen?

I believe this is answered in Q.1.

Quote:
4. How can we know God's revelation in another 500 years?

If the process in Q.1 were to be required God that would be the mechanism of how we would know.

Quote:
4 [5 ]. Do you hold to a double-inspiration view? Can you affirm Doctrinal Statement 1.1.

No to the first part and yes to the second but I take the second part further to say that transmission of substantia doctrina allows for the words of Scripture to be self-attesting and authoritative in the receptor language.

Quote:
5 [6 ]. Are you using KJB to be distinct from every other version, when (I think) you would claim that they are errant or insufficient for true believers?

I use KJB [King James Bible ] to hold some fidelity with what the Bible is generally called - The Holy Bible. It is not The Holy Version or The Holy Bible Version. The point is to focus on the idea that the volume in your hand is the Bible not a version. This is yet another loss the Church has suffered because of pre-Enlightenment theology. The Bible is no longer Holy, but rather close to the autographs coupled with errors.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

OK... it's all gotten too messy for me. Starting over.

Roland or Peter, please tell me if I'm correct or incorrect on any of this.

Your claim:
The traditional text is the right text.

Your argument:
Seems to me that between the OP and Roland's views, we have basically four lines of argument here.

  1. The "modern science" argument
  2. The "modernist paradigm" argument
  3. The "believing community" argument
  4. The Holy Spirit argument

    Maybe one or two of these could be combined or split into separate ones, but I think this is the essence. Now the tricky part. Summarizing the arguments. My goal here is to summarize them in a way you agree is accurate.
    Then I plan to shoot them down... but I'm not interested in arguing against what you are not saying, so I want to try again to get that clear and concise.

    1. The "modern science" argument: the nontradidtional texts are bad because they are being made by people who believe in and are governed by "modern science"
    2. The "modernist paradigm" argument: same as above only replace "modern science" with "modernist paradigm"
    3. The "believing community" argument: God uses the believing community preserve His word and the scholars who make nontraditional texts are not the believing community.
    4. The Holy Spirit argument: the Spirit enables the "believing community" to know what the correct readings are, and the makers of nontraditional texts do not have this ministry of the Spirit.

      So, do I have it right? I know there are several other arguments scattered through the thread but they seem to be subordinate/dependent on these four.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

JohnBrian's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
  1. The "modern science" argument: the nontradidtional texts are bad because they are being made by people who believe in and are governed by "modern science"
  2. The "modernist paradigm" argument: same as above only replace "modern science" with "modernist paradigm"
  3. The "believing community" argument: God uses the believing community preserve His word and the scholars who make nontraditional texts are not the believing community.
  4. The Holy Spirit argument: the Spirit enables the "believing community" to know what the correct readings are, and the makers of nontraditional texts do not have this ministry of the Spirit.

    So, do I have it right? I know there are several other arguments scattered through the thread but they seem to be subordinate/dependent on these four.

It appears to me that you have summarized their views accurately.

p.s. This post is primarily to add this thread to the "my forum threads" list.

CanJAmerican - my blog
CanJAmerican - my twitter
whitejumaycan - my youtube

Jay's picture

PVK,

Thanks for the answers; I appreciate your willingness to deal with them directly. I skimmed your post last night but wanted to reply to one thing that lays the groundwork for your argumentation first. You said:

Quote:
I would put the answer to your question this way. The train that represents the English Bible tradition in pre-Enlightenment scholarship [Holy Spirit>people of God>word of God paradigm ] stopped at the KJB. Not necessarily because the believing community wanted to but because those who were suppose to be submitting to the above paradigm abandoned that previous train, built their own train, then their own track, and hire a new conductor.

And how do you know that with any degree of certainty?

While I will grant you that the current motives for formulating new bible versions are primarily revenue driven, I am not prepared to accept that legitimate textual criticism / Biblical translation / Biblical scholarship stopped cold in the 1600-1700s (depending on which KJB you're endorsing, of course) because humans accepted 'enlightenment scholarship'. I'm not even sure what you mean by 'enlightenment scholarship'.

I feel as though your position leaves you with at least one major hole - the development and canonization of Scripture prior to the KJB, especially in the early church age (let's say anywhere from the formulation of the canon to the early 1600's). You argue that every version after the KJB has been...(I guess I should say) perverted because of that, but all you do is state a blanket assertion and then proceed from that basis. You do not explain the development of the texts or translations preceding the KJB at all, and that leaves a gap of nearly 1200-1400 years in your argument that needs to be addressed. After all, how do we know that Bible translations were not corrupted by, say, Grecian and Roman philosophy, from roughly 100 to 400 AD?

If I came out and asserted that the Alexandria text had to be the best because many manuscripts were corrupted by Roman philosophy, it would be a similar argument. So I hope you can see where I disagree with your opening premise.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Larry's picture

Moderator

Quote:
Brother Larry, the point of the post was about process and maturation. ... [snip the rest of the paragraph for space ]
Thanks Peter, but with all due respect, brother, this paragraph doesn't answer the question of whether or not you believe hell and the TR/KJV share the same revelational basis. Your questions seemed to equate them. Now you are talking about process and maturation. The question remains whether you believe that the TR/KJV belief is revealed as the doctrine of hell is.

Quote:
we are returned to the uncertainty of the Middle Ages.
Declaring the KJV to be "certain" doesn't make it so. So even with your position, we still have the "uncertainty of the middle ages." You are just pretending you don't. Saying that a blue car is red doesn't make it red. It is still blue, no matter what you say about it. In the same way, declaring the TR/KJV to be "certain" doesn't make it so.

The reality is that today, a great portion of "the believing community" (perhaps a vast majority) has accepted the eclectic texts as the Word of God. If your argument is based on the acceptance of the believing community, then your position falls apart.

Quote:
The quote I offered clearly stated the in-process character of the NA 27 and unless certainty, truth and doxology are in process that should be enough to conclude will-worship.
"In process" is a lot different than "will worship," it seems to me. Your quote proved nothing other than that these scholars are unwilling to dogmatically declare that they are right beyond possibility of error. They, in fact, leave room for the rest of the believing community to differ with them. I don't want to accuse these guys of being humble, but there is certainly something to the fact that they admit they are not the final word, and others may differ with them and ultimately convince them that they need to change. That seems the opposite of will worship, at least in some sense.

I hope you will get back to the questions I asked above when you a chance. They would help me to understand where you are coming from.

RPittman's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

  1. The "modern science" argument: the nontradidtional texts are bad because they are being made by people who believe in and are governed by "modern science"
No. Non-traditional texts based on modern critical text theory are rejected because their accuracy, validity, etc. are based on scientific methodology (i.e. scholarship) . . . .
  1. The scientific method is misapplied to textual criticism because of . . . . .
    1. too many uncontrolled factors
    2. lack of first-hand observable evidence (similar to replication below)
    3. lack of quantification and measurement
    4. faulty presuppositions
    5. lack of replication
    6. lack of comparable standard
  2. The use of the scientific method gives a false sense of validity, accuracy, etc. This unquestioning acceptance of anything claiming scientific validity is dynamically demonstrated by the Sokel Affair.
  3. The limitations of the scientific method must be confined in the physical realm to measurable and replicable things.

Quote:
  • The "modernist paradigm" argument: same as above only replace "modern science" with "modernist paradigm"

  • No.
    The "modernist paradigm" is best summed by rationalistic naturalism. It is the belief that if the proper methodology is followed, then reason will provide the answer. Reason is the final court of appeal. Christians, who function within this paradigm, interject various philosophical presuppositions to salvage their faith and proceed building with rationalist methodology. Modern critical text theory was created in this context and most Biblical critical text reconstruction, which is a subset of secular textual reconstruction, is done by Modernists/Liberals using this methodology.
    Quote:
  • The "believing community" argument: God uses the believing community preserve His word and the scholars who make nontraditional texts are not the believing community.
  • No, you missing the important points and you misconstrued the argument.
    1. As in canonization, the Believing Church, not the councils, testified to the inspired Scriptures by acceptance. This does not necessarily mean that every church or every single believer agreed.
    2. The inspired Scriptures are accepted by faith by the Believing Church in testimony to their nature.
    3. By acceptance, the Believing Church helps preserve the inspired Scriptures against all imposters. Again, this does not necessitate agreement of all believers or churches.
    4. The Believing Church accepts the Scriptures by faith as authoritative without the aid, approval, or validation of scholarship.
    5. Belief in the inspired Scriptures by the Believing Church is based on a continuous history of transmission within the church from centuries past.
    6. Modern eclectic texts are the products of secular scholarship based on a pseudo-scientific methodology. This methodology has been questioned by believers since its inception.
    7. Modern eclectic texts are essentially secular in nature.
  • The Holy Spirit argument: the Spirit enables the "believing community" to know what the correct readings are, and the makers of nontraditional texts do not have this ministry of the Spirit.[/quote]Again, no.
    1. God working through many causes and agents preserves His Word by the Holy Spirit.
    2. The Holy Spirit leads the Believing Church to accept the inspired Scriptures by faith although this does not require the acceptance of every believer or every church.
    3. The Holy Spirit illumines believers to properly understand and interpret the Word of God. (Aaron says he has no disagreement with this.)
    4. Secular text re-constructionists, who do not have the leading of the Holy Spirit, cannot properly reconstruct the text because they have not the discernment of the Scriptures in context. Context controls semantics and word choice. Their reconstruction must be solely on reason and secular literary theory.
    5. The Holy Spirit leads the believers by faith to accept, believe, and understand the inspired Scriptures as He led them to belief in the Gospel and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not governed by an overriding rationality.

      Quote:

      So, do I have it right? I know there are several other arguments scattered through the thread but they seem to be subordinate/dependent on these four.

      Life cannot always be be defined clearly and concisely. In fact, we cannot exhaustively and precisely define ultimate realities due to the infinite permutations and the limits of language. Your concise definitions must of necessity be generalities leaving much room for misunderstanding and argument.

  • Aaron Blumer's picture

    EditorAdmin

    Another go, one argument at a time.

    1. The "modern science" argument: the nontraditional texts should be rejected because they are based on scientific method and scholarship.

    I'm not sure this works for Peter because he has really emphasized "modern science" in his argument. But we'll see if he comments.

    2. The "modernist paradigm" argument: the nontraditional texts should be rejected because they are based on a "modernist paradigm."

    I don't see what I can change here. I didn't define "modernist paradigm," so my definition cannot be incorrect. I just used the term... your term.

    3. The "believing community" argument
    : God uses the believing community to preserve His word and the scholars who make nontraditional texts are not the believing community.

    Most of what you said on this point is consistent with my summary. It just adds detail... and a few points that are not in dispute. The substantive difference seems to be that you want to emphasize that the believing community is not every believer. But Peter has defined the believing community as those who are "blood bought" etc. So it appears that you and he are not in agreement about who the "believing community" includes. In any case, I didn't define the term in my summary. Just restated Peter's point that scholars are not the believing community. At times, you seemed to be emphatic on this point as well.

    4. The Holy Spirit argument: the Spirit enables the "believing community" to know what the correct readings are, and the makers of nontraditional texts do not have this ministry of the Spirit.

    Again, your elaborations on this point seem to be at odd's with Peter's view. We'll need to hear what he thinks of your point of view I guess before I can do much with it.

    But maybe we should just say that your view is not clear, will never be clear and doesn't have to be clear, and let it rest at that. Per your osbservation here...

    Quote:
    Life cannot always be be defined clearly and concisely. In fact, we cannot exhaustively and precisely define ultimate realities due to the infinite permutations and the limits of language. Your concise definitions must of necessity be generalities leaving much room for misunderstanding and argument.

    OK by me. A view that refuses to come out of the fog and be seen cannot be disproved... but it also cannot persuade anyone.

    Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

    Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

    I am away at a conference from Thursday through Saturday. I will respond on Sunday. $10 a day for internet at the hotel is a little excessive. Also, sorry about the typing mistakes in my last post. I was going to be late for prayer meeting so I did not proof read it as I should have. Looking forward to continuing the discussion on Sunday.

    Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

    StandardSacredText.com

    RPittman's picture

    Aaron wrote:
    OK by me. A view that refuses to come out of the fog and be seen cannot be disproved... but it also cannot persuade anyone.
    Well, Aaron, this illustrates the root of the problem. The problem with rationalism is that it cannot encompass the whole of reality. It can only simplify into models and morph reality to fit the smallness of human rationality. The "proofs" that you are talking about are relative to one's acceptance of a Modernistic paradigm.

    The reason that I cannot accept your definitions is that they are (1) inaccurate and (2) leave loopholes for "disproving" the proposition. A good friend of mine astutely notes: "He who controls the dictionary controls the debate." I won't allow you to define my views for me.

    Aaron, you resist my defining your position, so why should I allow you to define mine? From your posts, methodology, comments, and positions, I conclude that you are basically a rationalist operating in a Modernist paradigm. You deny it. Now, you're WHINING again because I won't let you define what I think and believe. What's fair for one is fair for the other. I think this is just what we used to call a "cop out." If you can't stack the deck in your favor, then you withdraw and make excuses.

    As for persuasion . . . well, that's a highly subjective and individual matter. Although those holding a Modernist paradigm of rationalism like to think they hold their views on the basis of reason, that's really not true. Their persuasion is actually more a social function than hard-core reasoning as they would like to think. On the other hand, I hold to a view of reasonable faith. I know that I cannot explain and put everything together in a coherent whole. I acknowledge my own limitations and lack of knowledge. There are many things that I don't know and cannot explain but I know enough through revelation for salvation and godly living. But, I'm not compelled by a Modernist paradigm to explain and bring everything into conformity with reason. I accept and believe some things by reasonable faith. On the other hand, you must bring everything, including faith, into the final court of reason. You are a rationalist.

    Jay's picture

    RPittman wrote:
    Well, Aaron, this illustrates the root of the problem. The problem with rationalism is that it cannot encompass the whole of reality. It can only simplify into models and morph reality to fit the smallness of human rationality. The "proofs" that you are talking about are relative to one's acceptance of a Modernistic paradigm.

    The reason that I cannot accept your definitions is that they are (1) inaccurate and (2) leave loopholes for "disproving" the proposition. A good friend of mine astutely notes: "He who controls the dictionary controls the debate." I won't allow you to define my views for me.

    Aaron, you resist my defining your position, so why should I allow you to define mine?


    So what you're saying is that unless Aaron agrees to your definitions and presuppositions, you can't (won't) discuss them?

    If you aren't interested in clarifying your position (which several people, including myself) do not understand, and you aren't interested in discussing what we think, then what are you doing on this thread other than wasting everyone else's time? If you want to put an article out defining and teaching everyone about your textual views, then you should submit an article for posting on the main page rather than fill up threads with posts that cannot be understood, defined, or discussed.

    "Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

    Aaron Blumer's picture

    EditorAdmin

    Roland wrote:
    The reason that I cannot accept your definitions is that they are (1) inaccurate and (2) leave loopholes for "disproving" the proposition. A good friend of mine astutely notes: "He who controls the dictionary controls the debate." I won't allow you to define my views for me.

    Roland, I have zero interest in defining your views for you. This is why I have repeatedly asked you to concisely define your terms or help me boil them down. You have consistently refused to to do that or to expose your views to close scrutiny.
    Everybody who can read this thread can see that.

    As for all the "modernist paradigm" stuff... you've also consistently failed to show that I have any such paradigm, while I have consistently shown that I do not. Your assertions on that topic carry no weight.

    Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

    RPittman's picture

    Aaron wrote:
    As for all the "modernist paradigm" stuff... you've also consistently failed to show that I have any such paradigm, while I have consistently shown that I do not.
    Pardon me but could you please give the post number where you've shown this? I seen your denials but I'm never seen any demonstration of proof. Especially not logical proof. I take it that your denial is proof enough. If you research my posts (and I don't have time to do it for you), you will find that my assertions include observations that your methodology is Modernistic, or your presupposition is Modernistic, or you are reasoning from a Modernistic paradigm. What you have FAILED to do is say, "No, that is not Modernistic methodology," or "I did not use that methodology." You have, however, made feeble attempts to obscure the issue by generalizing it to any use of the mind or reason. A gloss is not persuasive proof or demonstration. So, no, you haven't shown anything.
    Quote:
    Your assertions on that topic carry no weight.
    I won't argue with you. Are you saying that you don't have a paradigm? Or, are you saying that your paradigm is not the Modernist paradigm? If so, what is your paradigm?

    RPittman's picture

    Aaron wrote:
    Roland, I have zero interest in defining your views for you. This is why I have repeatedly asked you to concisely define your terms or help me boil them down. You have consistently refused to to do that or to expose your views to close scrutiny.
    Did you read my post #75? Those are pretty succinct propositions. Pick out any 1 or 2 of them and tear into them. You have my views there in my own words. What more do you need?
    Aaron wrote:
    Everybody who can read this thread can see that.
    Now, you're whining again. Of course, they can see and do see! I've given you enough of my views in post #75 (prior to your post #80) for any amount of scrutiny that you care to give. If you're concerned about the scope of the debate, then you can easily limit it to 1 or 2 of the points that are as concise and succinct as your definitions. I told you why I won't accept your definitions. Your definitions are imprecise generalizations and full of loopholes that would have left me at a disadvantage. Some even miss my points entirely and I can't understand why because I've clearly stated and restated my points--but not to your satisfaction.

    RPittman's picture

    Jay C wrote:
    So what you're saying is that unless Aaron agrees to your definitions and presuppositions, you can't (won't) discuss them?
    What? This is amazing! Jay, don't you think I ought to be able to write my own definitions and presuppositions of MY BELIEFS if I am going to support them in debate? Why should I be forced to agree with his definitions of MY BELIEFS? He doesn't have to "agree" with my definitions and presuppositions but he does have to allow me to state them in my words, not his. What's wrong with that?

    This is simply amazing . . . .

    RPittman's picture

    Jay C wrote:
    If you aren't interested in clarifying your position (which several people, including myself) do not understand, and you aren't interested in discussing what we think, then what are you doing on this thread other than wasting everyone else's time? If you want to put an article out defining and teaching everyone about your textual views, then you should submit an article for posting on the main page rather than fill up threads with posts that cannot be understood, defined, or discussed.
    Have you read my post #75? What don't you understand? I would love to know what you think? I've repeatedly begged for comments on my points rather than the generalized fluff or personal stuff that I usually get. I have many times defined limited points of what I believe. Yeah, and I wonder too if I'm wasting my time with folks who won't acknowledge or deal with my points.

    dcbii's picture

    EditorModerator

    RPittman wrote:
    Of course, they can see and do see!

    Indeed, we do see. To use your own metaphor from earlier in the thread, Aaron has the ball, running away with it at the 80 yard line, with no defenders within 30 yards.

    You consistently charge Aaron with having a modernist paradigm, but it's quite clear from history that rational, logical thinking has been around for at least 2500 years, long before any period we would call modernity, and I would argue much of what is written in scripture (by Paul especially, but even in the OT) indicates a rational, logical train of thought. Paul values revelation over any of man's wisdom, but that did not at all prevent him from building long rational arguments in scripture on top of what has been revealed, meaning that revelation for us clearly includes logical arguments.

    Quote:
    I know that I cannot explain and put everything together in a coherent whole. I acknowledge my own limitations and lack of knowledge.

    Which proves his point completely. A view that cannot be put together in a coherent whole, is, by definition, incoherent. It's no wonder very few of us are convinced.

    All that Aaron has attempted to do in this thread is to try to get both sides onto a common ground so that a discussion will have meaning. However, you consistently say your paradigm is nothing like Aaron's, and therefore they can't be compared, and since you take all attempts at using rational arguments and claim they are rationalism, it's quite obvious that regardless what the opposition says or what evidence they bring, you will not consider it an answer to your arguments, and you will believe what you want anyway. That is your prerogative, but then you wonder why very few accept your position.

    Quote:
    I told you why I won't accept your definitions. Your definitions are imprecise generalizations and full of loopholes that would have left me at a disadvantage.

    It's pretty clear that your arguments do not stand up to close scrutiny, which leaves you at a disadvantage anyway. Any time someone attempts to get you to clarify what you write, you can't (or won't) do it, and you don't accept anyone else's clarification. Honestly, I'm surprised Aaron has given it this much effort. I have to thank him, though, because it has been instructive. In the end, though, it's a lot like arguing with an insane person. Such a person's perception is so far away from normal and in its own world, that an argument with him doesn't make sense or have any point. You just have to let him go on being in his own world, because there is no common ground to find. To any outsider looking in, he is disadvantaged but doesn't realize it. He is happier that way anyway.

    Quote:
    Some even miss my points entirely and I can't understand why because I've clearly stated and restated my points--but not to your satisfaction.

    Restating is not the same as clarifying. It's obvious to about anyone that any explanation you give just results in further obfuscation in an attempt to avoid having your views nailed down. I have to admit, though, reading what you write sometimes makes for interesting reading, on the few occasions I need some surrealism in my day.

    Dave Barnhart

    Aaron Blumer's picture

    EditorAdmin

    Roland wrote:
    Aaron wrote:
    As for all the "modernist paradigm" stuff... you've also consistently failed to show that I have any such paradigm, while I have consistently shown that I do not.

    Pardon me but could you please give the post number where you've shown this? I seen your denials but I'm never seen any demonstration of proof....
    ...Or, are you saying that your paradigm is not the Modernist paradigm? If so, what is your paradigm?

    That would be http://sharperiron.org/comment/36478#comment-36478 ]post 49
    As I mentioned at the time, I don't know what all you require in defining a "paradigm," but if something is missing from that post, do tell what you'd like to know.
    I have everything to gain from clarity and nothing to gain from being vague.
    (Edit: I see that in post 50 you ask for a label for my paradigm. You have the substance. I don't care what the label is.)

    Jay wrote:
    So what you're saying is that unless Aaron agrees to your definitions and presuppositions, you can't (won't) discuss them?

    Actually, this is kind of a restriction I've put on myself... only the other direction. That is, I don't think there is much point in my talking about his view if I don't have definitions of terms that he agrees with.
    The problem is that he "defines" with long paragraphs and when I summarize them, they are "wrong." What this does is make it impossible do any reasoning with the terms.
    With concise definitions, you can do things like

    • Position: all A are B
    • Counterargument: One A is not B
    • Conclusion: "All A are B" is false.

    But as long as multiple, lengthy paragraphs are required to define each term, you have to try to reason with:

    Position: All < six paragraphs of description > are <4 paragraphs of description>

    So when you try to express the counterargument, you can't do it in simple terms and it becomes very easy for the other guy to equivocate.

    And this is the chief advantage of not being clear: as soon as someone makes a solid counterargument, you just equivocate and deny that this was ever what you meant. (Tip: also avoid clearly saying explaining what you really did mean)

    @Roland
    As for use of the scientific method: arguably, when someone compares alternate readings and evaluates, he forms a hypothesis about which reading is correct and then "tests" it by the available information, which he "observes" by reading. So there is a kind of resemblance to scientific method there.
    But what's wrong with that? You keep talking about their failing to recognize the limits of scientific method--fine. What limits?

    • If "limits" means that this process of comparing excludes the Holy Spirit, I'd like to see you prove that. I've been arguing that Scripture does not say the Spirit is unable to guide the reasoning of believers.
    • If "limits" means that this process cannot always produce a certain result, textual critics are quite aware of that (the apparatus in any Nestle Aland rates chosen readings with degrees of certainty. If I remember right, they go from A to C or maybe even in D in some cases--"D" meaning "We're really not sure at all we've got it right").

    Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

    RPittman's picture

    Dave Barnhart wrote:
    RPittman wrote:
    Of course, they can see and do see!

    Indeed, we do see. To use your own metaphor from earlier in the thread, Aaron has the ball, running away with it at the 80 yard line, with no defenders within 30 yards.
    LOL . . . then you've never heard of Jim Marshall who played for the Vikings and ran the wrong way on a fumble recovery into his own end zone . . . I suppose he wondered why there were no defenders between him and the goal line . . . go Aaron, go Aaron, go . . . LOL Cool How's that for sustaining the metaphor?
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    You consistently charge Aaron with having a modernist paradigm, but it's quite clear from history that rational, logical thinking has been around for at least 2500 years, long before any period we would call modernity, and I would argue much of what is written in scripture (by Paul especially, but even in the OT) indicates a rational, logical train of thought. Paul values revelation over any of man's wisdom, but that did not at all prevent him from building long rational arguments in scripture on top of what has been revealed, meaning that revelation for us clearly includes logical arguments.

    Yeah, I suppose you wouldn't know about the changes in epistemology and reasoning that began with the Enlightenment (although some would argue that "Modernity" is a departure from Enlightenment principles) and the advent of the scientific method. If it is just one big continuum of reasoning from Hellenistic Greeks until now, then why are there huge tomes of pedantic philosophy written on the concept of "Modernity?" This isn't something that I made up but I was first introduced to the concept of "Modernity" from reading the publications of the secular Intercollegiate Studies Institute when I was a youngster from the likes of Ronald Nash, Henry Hazilitt, Murray Rothbard, John P. East, Russell Kirk, Leo Strauss, et. al. Later, I read Thomas Kuhn and Karl Popper for real eye-openers on science. If you want primary sources, I recommend reading Hobbes, Hume, Descartes, Locke, Spinoza, and Bacon. Your argument really isn't with me--it's with all the aforementioned guys! If you think you can wipe them away with three or four lines, then have at it.
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    I know that I cannot explain and put everything together in a coherent whole. I acknowledge my own limitations and lack of knowledge.

    Which proves his point completely. A view that cannot be put together in a coherent whole, is, by definition, incoherent. It's no wonder very few of us are convinced.
    Oh, my . . . what such a simple way of looking at the world. If only reality could be so simple, definable, and so easily understood . . . . Reality itself is incoherent to us by your definition. Although the equations of electric, magnetic, and gravitational forces are similar, even Einstein could not come up with an unified field theory. Friend, the profundity of reality can hardly be explained in two line definitions, not even in two hundred thousand lines. I would like to see you explain the Krebs Cycle in one statement. And if you think you have reality explained and wrapped up in a neat little package, then there's only one person deceived . . . . . How is it said? It is better for one to know that he knows not than one who knows not that he knows not. That is, I believe, a pretty good picture of self-deception.
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    All that Aaron has attempted to do in this thread is to try to get both sides onto a common ground so that a discussion will have meaning. However, you consistently say your paradigm is nothing like Aaron's, and therefore they can't be compared, and since you take all attempts at using rational arguments and claim they are rationalism, it's quite obvious that regardless what the opposition says or what evidence they bring, you will not consider it an answer to your arguments, and you will believe what you want anyway. That is your prerogative, but then you wonder why very few accept your position.

    This is a highly skewed misrepresentation prejudiced in the interest of the point that you're trying to make. Aaron argues from a paradigm of logic and reason, which he admits although he denies it is a subset of the Modernist paradigm. Anyway, it is perfectly legitimate for me to argue and show contradiction of his propositions according to his own professed system. On the other hand, he cannot enforce his system's logic upon my propositions that were formed under another paradigm logic. He either demonstrates his paradigm is superior to mine or refutes me within my own paradigm of faith and reason. He has done neither.

    RPittman's picture

    Dave Barnhart wrote:

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    I told you why I won't accept your definitions. Your definitions are imprecise generalizations and full of loopholes that would have left me at a disadvantage.

    It's pretty clear that your arguments do not stand up to close scrutiny, which leaves you at a disadvantage anyway.

    Really? You say this but you haven't told us or shown us how they fall short of scrutiny.
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    Any time someone attempts to get you to clarify what you write, you can't (or won't) do it, and you don't accept anyone else's clarification.
    Have you read my post #75? What's unclear there? And I have repeatedly stated these same propositions elsewhere? Why don't you take one or two and refute them?
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    Honestly, I'm surprised Aaron has given it this much effort. I have to thank him, though, because it has been instructive.
    So, can you summarize what you've learned?
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    In the end, though, it's a lot like arguing with an insane person.
    Oh, oh, here it is again! Make oblique insinuations about the person when you can't refute his arguments. For shame!
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    Such a person's perception is so far away from normal and in its own world, that an argument with him doesn't make sense or have any point.
    Okay, would you please tell me where my perception is askew? Remember, you said that if you can't define it then you're being incoherent. Let's see you live up to your own professed standard.
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    You just have to let him go on being in his own world, because there is no common ground to find. To any outsider looking in, he is disadvantaged but doesn't realize it. He is happier that way anyway.
    Now, now, you're making it personal again. What ideas are you refuting here?
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    Some even miss my points entirely and I can't understand why because I've clearly stated and restated my points--but not to your satisfaction.

    Restating is not the same as clarifying.
    Well, do you want an analysis of this? Restating can be clarifying although not necessarily so. However, clarifying usually involves restating even if in different terms. So, what's your point? You're nitpicking.
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    It's obvious to about anyone that any explanation you give just results in further obfuscation [emphasis added--I see you're picking up on one of my favorite words, you're welcome ] in an attempt to avoid having your views nailed down. I have to admit, though, reading what you write sometimes makes for interesting reading, on the few occasions I need some surrealism in my day.
    Nonsense! What don't you understand from the straightforward statements in my post #75? Tell me and I'll try to explain it to you.

    Furthermore, how do you know that I'm making "an attempt to avoid having [my ] views nailed down?" How can you prove that it's not as I said to prevent having my views being misstated? Just how do you know this? Can you read my mind? I've told you the truth. You're questioning my word. Now prove it! Just whom do you think you are? According to your professed system of logic, you must have evidence for what you say. Are you saying that you know my mind better than I know it? Are you calling me a liar? This is a false accusation and I'm calling you out on it.

    Yes, I find your writing interesting too! When I taught writing using some of Sheridan Baker's material, such as The Complete Stylist or The Practical Stylist, I taught my students Baker's technique to gain a competitive edge with the reader by getting him to identify with the piece. For example, I taught them to write: "As any thinking man knows . . ." or "It is obvious to any rational person . . . ." or "It is apparent to intelligent men . . . . If you were my student, you would have shown that you learned well by writing: "It's obvious to about anyone . . . ."

    Greg Long's picture

    Thank you Aaron, Jay, and Dave, for your efforts. I wish I had your patience. I try to read Roland's posts and most of the time my eyes just glaze over. When I do read his posts I find them incoherent and unhelpful.

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

    Pastor of Adult Ministries
    Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

    Adjunct Instructor
    School of Divinity
    Liberty University

    RPittman's picture

    Greg Long wrote:
    Thank you Aaron, Jay, and Dave, for your efforts. I wish I had your patience. I try to read Roland's posts and most of the time my eyes just glaze over. When I do read his posts I find them incoherent and unhelpful.
    This sounds a lot like cheering for the home team. Seems like you boys really stick together.

    So, you find my posts incoherent? (Note: This problem of incoherence in following sustained argument is prevalent in many of the younger generation. Educators think it's too much TV and too many video games. Dr. Robert Melillo thinks it has to do with left-right brain dominance.) Gives you a headache, huh? Does this prove your incoherence in understanding or mine in writing?

    Please allow me to make it very simple for you, Greg. You're always trying to take me down, it seems, and put me in my place. I will make a one sentence proposition and see if you can refute it. Now, the grounds rules are simple. Stick to the proposition and don't add any of your own inferences or suppositions to it. Here goes.

    PROPOSITION: Modern Biblical textual criticism based on secular textual reconstruction theory using scholarship founded loosely on rationalism and scientific methodology is an inappropriate methodology for determining the Scriptural text because of the lack of a comparable standard, too many uncontrolled variables, no means of replication, no measurable quantities, no opportunities for observation, and failure to account for the spiritual dimension of Scripture.

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