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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Aaron Blumer's picture

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DavidO wrote:
Aaron Blumer wrote:
It's not clear to me what this has to do with a discussion about textual criticism.

No, it's a total rabbit trail, but you piqued my interest with your revision statement.
Sorry to derail.

No problem, I just couldn't tell if you were going somewhere in the text debate with it or not.

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

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Peter ... speaking of crickets, I am still waiting for you to answer the questions I have asked near the beginning. I don't think you have addressed any of my questions, at least in any meaningful way that I have seen. I gave you some time because you said you were busy, but it looks like you are a bit freer now. As I said at the beginning, I am not interested in a long discussion. I would simply like a simple answer to the questions.

Your last post to me didn't even pretend to answer the question. You changed the subject, and then posted a lengthy post filled with errors of different types. I have no real interest in going through that at this point.

The specific question in the last post was this: Do you believe that the doctrine you hold of the TR/KJV is revealed in the same way that the doctrine of hell is? Yes or No? (No other explanation is really necessary.) You did not make any attempt to defend that equivocation you made.

Aaron Blumer's picture

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Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
Your avid cling to post-Enlightenment thought is peculiar. I know you hold to certain values of this new system of thought, but I have a few questions. When you declare the good things that have come out of the Enlightenment, which part of it are you speaking of. Are you speak of social reconstruction through economics with Karl Marx. Or maybe it is the...

Where am I clinging to post-Enlightenment thought? You do realize, don't you, that to characterize ideas as "post-Enlightenment" in any convincing way, you have to show that they are unique to Enlghtmt/Post-Enlghtmt thinking (ET). If they exist before it or even after it in philosophies critical of mainstream ET, the assertion doesn't ring true.

As for your list of stuff that came from that era, not really a fan of any of that.

Peter wrote:
... Perhaps you are looking at the textual criticism of the era which denied the supernatural, and as a result the inspiration of the autographs as is represented in the systems of Wescott and Hort. It is these two scholars that reintroduced Aleph and B. For some reason you and those who support you give a free pass to the conclusions of guys who reintroduced material the believing community had already rejected...

It isn't "for some reason." It's for particular reasons. In your list of Bad Ideas of the Enlightenment, you make a sudden shift in the kind of idea when you get to W & Hort.
First, I think it is not accurate to say that W & H did not believe in the supernatural. But I grant quite freely that these guys had some mixed up theology.
Second, you can hardly blame W & H for the existence of Aleph & B. They didn't create them.
Third, no reasonable person believes that everybody who is wrong about one thing is therefore wrong about everything. Just ponder the absurdity of that argument for a minute.
But, as I said, a method of seeking the best reading among conflicting manuscripts is an idea of a different order than a philosophy of economics, morality, psychology or any of the other higher-level ideas of the Enlightenment. A method is not the same thing as a philosophy.

Peter wrote:
... but be careful because the era of time which you are defending...

Were exactly have I defended an "era"?

Peter wrote:
Your young system of textual development, Brother Blumer, is sourced out of this environment that is full of the above filth, corruption, and destruction. Still, you cling to it.

Please locate the "filth, corruption, and destruction." We already know how you feel about it. If you want to be persuasive, support that claim.

Peter wrote:
So I hope now you can understand 2 things: 1.) I for one, do not believe you when you say that post-Enlightenment systems are good things

Where did I say that?
An argument directed at something other than my position can only, at best, disprove something that is not my position. So what's the point of doing it here?

Peter wrote:
Now onto your summaries.
Aaron wrote:
1. The "modern science" argument: the nontraditional texts should be rejected because they are based on scientific method and scholarship.

This reads better as, The nontraditional texts should be rejected because they are not products of the Spirit and word as modern science would maintain.

So your argument here is that
a. Modern science claims that the nontraditional texts are not products of the Spirit and word
b. Therefore the nontraditional texts are not of the Spirit and word and should be rejected?

Peter wrote:

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

I can go with this for now.

Cool. The counterargument then is, prove it.
More specifically, prove that Christians who are involved in textual criticism do so based on a modernist paradigm.
Note that any persuasive support would require that the ideas or techniques involved be shown to be unique to a modernist paradigm and inherently modernist, not merely overlapping with modernist ideas or coming from people who also hold to modernist ideas.

To illustrate what I mean: atheist Richard Dawkins believes there is no God. He also believes the sun comes up in the morning. So if you believe something that Richard Dawkins believes does make you an atheist?
Suppose Dawkins develops a really good technique for how old sandwiches in the fridge are based on rate of mold growth. Does that mean if I rate the age of a sandwich in my fridge using The Dawkins Method, I'm an atheist or I'm "throwing away sandwiches based on an atheist paradigm"?

The problems with reasoning this way should be pretty clear.
An idea is not proved to be "a modernist idea" because it comes from a man who is a modernist.

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
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.

... I’m sure you have had pnuematology classes, How does the Holy Spirit speak to God’s people in the Dispensation of Grace? ...
This summary runs into at least one significant problem, Side A says these guys are saved and Side B says they are not. Neither side knows for certain so I don’t argue it. One thing we do know, the believing community by definition is saved.

So I'm not sure then, is my summary of your argument accurate or not?
As for how the Spirit speaks to God's people--in pretty much any age--there are only a few possibilities:

  1. He guides their rational thought process
  2. He reveals truth to them directly by vision, dream, audible voice or "just knowing" (though the last might be hard to find examples of in Scripture)
  3. He has said all He's going to say in Scripture, and we "hear" Him by reading
  4. Is there something else?
    So where would any of these be happening when the believing community is looking at manuscripts that don't match and has to figure out which one is right? I personally don't see any problem with saying "a." happens.
    But in any case, to support your view, you'd have to show that whatever happens in identifying the traditional text does not happen in the lives of believers who go for more eclectic texts (or even majority text which, let's remember, is not a word for word match with the traditional text).

    As for who's saved and who isn't... if I've done textual criticism using the eclectic approach, does that mean I'm not saved? Who exactly do you believe these "MSTC" people are?

    Peter wrote:
    Aaron wrote:
    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.

    I have never said this. You infer it. You do so because I do not believe you have ever been educated in pre-Enlightenment theology in any meaningful way. But if you have then you will know the answer to this question, What makes a single believer’s thought, doctrine and not opinion?

    If you have never said this, please tell me what your argument on this point is. The rest of your remarks here seem to have neither support nor relevance.

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.

Aaron Blumer's picture

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On that one.... there is little if anything in that post that is actually in dispute.
Nobody here is arguing that the Scriptures are fallible, that they might not be true, that they are not authoritative, etc.

The question is whether the traditional text is the best edition of the Scriptures based on the arguments that have been offered here (arg. from the Holy Spirit, argu. from "modern science," argument from "believing community" and--if we are still interested in this one, Rolands argument from "modernist paradigm.")

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.

Jay's picture

Larry and Aaron have pretty much hit everything I wanted to say, but I did want to know who this Dr. Muller guy is that you keep referring to is. I've never heard of him, and I took two years of Systematic in grad school.

"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

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Looks like the Muller Peter is referring to is this one….
[amazon 0801026164 thumbnail ]
It seems unlikely to me that Muller takes the position that the text used by the Reformers is word perfect and that all the MSS found since this time must be rejected out of hand if they do not agree with the TR/MT.
But I do not have this volume.

There are 4 volumes in the series. Review here. http://www.monergism.com/0801026180_postreformation_reformed_dogmatics.php
Telling people that if they just read Muller they’ll agree your position is a classic case of argumentum verbosium fallacy. (This is when you claim support from something so immense, those who disagree cannot offer a counterargument until they read 1600 pages. But it only works if you don’t see through it. An in-kind counterargument: “If you read every book I’ve ever read, you’ll agree with me.” ;) )

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.

Jay's picture

I don't have $50.00 to spend on this theology book, but I think that (if I'm reading Muller correctly), then he and I would be in basic agreement re: inspiration/preservation. Every Systematic Theology that I looked at over the weekend seems to agree with the position that I hold to - namely, that God has preserved His Word through the multiplicity of the manuscripts that we have.

In any case, Brandenberg quotes Muller:

Quote:
[Muller ] writes concerning the Westminster Confession of Faith (p. 81):
Quote:
If the Westminster confession argues the necessity of translation and the propriety of the use of Scripture by the unlearned, it also insists upon the priority of the Hebrew and Greek originals of the books of the Bible and ultimately lodges all authority in the text as preserved in the ancient languages. The Hebrew and Greek texts are the "authentic" Scriptures that were "immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages." "Final appeal" in all religious controversy, therefore, must be to the text in the original languages rather than to translations. The detail there, is once again greater than that of previous confessions, but it cannot be claimed that we have entered the realm of dogmatic system. There is no elaboration or discussion distinguishing between "words" (verba) and "substance" (res) such as appears in the systems of the day and no discussion of the autographa. The emphasis of the confession is simply upon the original language texts currently known to the church.

Muller quotes the Formula Consensus Helvetica on p. 84:

Quote:
God, the supreme Judge, not only took care to have his word, which is the "power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes" (Rom. 1:16), committed to writing by Moses, the Prophets, and the Apostles, but has also watched and cherished it with paternal care ever since it was written up to the present time, so that it could not be corrupted by the craft of Satan or fraud of man.

He [Muller ] writes concerning John Owen on p. 134:

Quote:
He (Owen) had not, it is true, predicated his doctrine of Scripture as Word on his ability to prove the perfection of the text. Rather, like Turretin and the other orthodox, he had done precisely the opposite: he assumed the authority, infallibility, and integrity of the text on doctrinal grounds.

Muller gets to a section on the doctrine of preservation of Scripture. He writes on p. 433:

Quote:
By "original and authentic" text, the Protestant orthodox do not mean the autographa which no one can possess but the apographa in the original tongue which are the source of all versions. The Jews throughout history and the church in the time of Christ regarded the Hebrew of the Old Testament as authentic and for nearly six centuries after Christ, the Greek of the New Testament was viewed as authentic without dispute. It is important to note that the Reformed orthodox insistence on the identification of the Hebrew and Greek texts as alone authentic does not demand direct reference to autographa in those languages; the "original and authentic text" of Scripture means, beyond the autograph copies, the legitimate tradition of Hebrew and Greek apographa.

So maybe PVK can explain where either I'm in disagreement with Muller or where he and Muller diverge, because it doesn't seem like he and Muller are in agreement, which is odd since he's the one citing Muller.

"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

Charlie's picture

Richard Muller is a historian, not a theologian. PRRD is historical theology. That said, I believe PVK's point is that the Reformed never talked about "original autographs" in the manner that Warfield did. They believed that the texts they had were preserved. Thus, the idea seems to be that we deduce the purity of the text FROM the church's use, rather than trying to determine the correct text, and then use it.

Of course, the value of their perspective is both real and limited. They were 1) working extremely hard to get away from the need for any kind of magisterium and 2) before the arrival of historical consciousness in general and the history of textual transmission in particular. In other words, they were not aware of the breadth of the differences occurring in manuscripts in use by the church. IOW, I don't think the Protestant Scholastic doctrine of preservation ought to be the contemporary Protestant doctrine. Or, it needs to be heavily refined, accounting for the differences in use.

My Blog: http://dearreaderblog.com

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Aaron Blumer's picture

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Agree w/Charlie... we can't take the Reformation guys' words as though they were talking about the manuscript situation we have today. The info. we have was not available yet nor was it on their horizon. So we can't argue that they said what they did in anticipation of a lot of divergent MSS being found and cataloged in the future.

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.

Jay's picture

Charlie wrote:
Richard Muller is a historian, not a theologian. PRRD is historical theology. That said, I believe PVK's point is that the Reformed never talked about "original autographs" in the manner that Warfield did. They believed that the texts they had were preserved. Thus, the idea seems to be that we deduce the purity of the text FROM the church's use, rather than trying to determine the correct text, and then use it.

Of course, the value of their perspective is both real and limited. They were 1) working extremely hard to get away from the need for any kind of magisterium and 2) before the arrival of historical consciousness in general and the history of textual transmission in particular. In other words, they were not aware of the breadth of the differences occurring in manuscripts in use by the church. IOW, I don't think the Protestant Scholastic doctrine of preservation ought to be the contemporary Protestant doctrine. Or, it needs to be heavily refined, accounting for the differences in use.


That makes sense to me. Part of my underlying presuppositions is that we see use of the Scripture in the NT as the final authority without deference to text type or manuscript - Jesus' citations of the OT (Mt. 4:1-10) with Paul's use of the LXX (Acts 13:26-48 and other epistles) and Peter's references to Paul's writings (II Peter 3:15-16) are all on the same level of authority in the New Testament. If that's the case, then why would it have changed for today's church? Did God somehow stop preserving the text and so that now we have to use only one manuscript family or translation? If so, then what criteria do we use to know that God chose to use the (blank text/manuscript) and not the (blank text family/manuscript)? If it's determined by the believing community - as he posits - then the people that use the Alexandrian or Eclectic texts are ipso facto not a part of the believing community because they don't use the right text, but that can't be true either, because there are godly Christians who do use them.

As an aside, it wasn't really until the Gutenberg Press (early 1450's) that the Scriptures could even really be distributed to many people, and the steam driven printing presses weren't developed for the mass production of books (on a scale that we think of) until the early 1800's. So that means to me that somehow God managed to preserve His Word just fine for at least 1300 years at a bare minimum without this becoming a significant issue, and the relative 'novelty' of this debate speaks volumes against it.

"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

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

From the top...

Brother Blumer, I have a few introductory remarks.

1.) Where you say things such as "needs support" or " you need to prove this", do you realize that you are eminently capable of finding these things for yourself. Prove me wrong. I say X about the nature of Bibliology in church history, then you go to church history and demonstrate by quotation that what I have said is wrong, skewed, loose, divergent, etc.

2.) You have yet to set forth a position. Furthermore, many of the things I have written are common knowledge to a student of Church History, so some of your questions of "clarity" are for that purpose but others are indicative of someone who knows very little of Church History. In my mind, many of your questions are akin to asking me to define the nature of justification each time I mention "God's people". If we are to have a conversation, then you should know many of the questions you already ask about exegesis, theology, and history.

3.) Given # 1 and 2 I ask that you offer a sympathetic ear toward my presentation. I need you to consider in your own heart and mind that you may be profoundly wrong. I sat under the tutelage of those who had a hand in the creation of the NIV and ESV. I wrestled with them and their ideas. I already opened my heart and mind to the possibility that I may be profoundly wrong, and after 4 years of college 3 years of grad school and 4 years of post grad school none of my academic opponents said that the Standard Sacred Text position is untenable or untrue, rather they said that a new era calls for a new method or process. So take some time and examine your heart, because you may be more wrong than you know on this topic. Seeing that you and I desire to know and embrace truth, this exhortation is undoubtedly welcome.

Now on to your posts.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote

We have only your claim. The idea that when Jesus referred to "jot and tittle" He was talking about a translation that would not exist for well over a millennium...

Please note in my quote the reference to "one jot and one tittle" was in reference to the autographs as I attempt to characterize your position. I never directed "one jot or one tittle" to a translation. This is a poor reading of my work and poor analysis. It is no wonder you do not find anything I have thus written as "persuasive".

Christ did not have the original documents written at the hand of Moses and the prophets, so when He spoke of one jot or one tittle not passing from "the law" He was speaking of copies. My point is the copies are to be considered as the originals. Christ spoke of them this way. Abraham from heaven spoke about them this way. In history, we see the likes of Bullinger, Turretin, Willet, and Muller speaking of them in this way. My Dad's Hebrew prof at Westminster Theological Seminary took them this way, and if fact taught the class that to deny these words of Christ is to deny His testimony.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote,

Not in dispute: that copies of the Scriptures are authoritative and are the Word of God.

No you missed my point. Let me put this question to you. When Abraham said, "Moses and the Prophets" was he speaking of corrupted texts? In other words did Abraham point the rich man to a corruption, or did Abraham point him to the pure word of God?

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote

The "connection" here is stated in the text. It isn't just any connection. It's "you shall receive power." What power?

I agree, but I really don't see your point. The fact is that the power of the Spirit is not separate from the Spirit and the power of Scripture is not separate from the Spirit and the power of the word of Scripture is not separate from the Spirit and the power of the words of the message of the Scripture are not separate from the Spirit. The quoted John 16 passage is summary of the perspicuity of Scripture and the Spirit in the lives of the believers and lost.

I ask you to locate this Scripture and the system evoked from it in any of your Bibliology with regard to the process of how the Greek/Hebrew gets to the English then into the hands of God's people. Please take your time in Hodge, Erickson, Geisler, Chafer, et al, and see if any of them include a discussion of the power of God's Spirit in God's people, through God's word.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote,

First, "Holy Scripture should be enough?" Enough for what?

If you would simply read the beginning part of that sentence I would hope you would understand the answer to your own question. I noted that I purposefully did not included historical and theological data because Scripture should be enough to make this case. Like I said above, I believe a more sympathetic ear may kept you from asking this question.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote,

They do not claim to be enough to tell us which man-made copies of themselves are correct and which are in error.

Here is a perfect example of your lack of incorporation of historical exegesis and theology on an elementary level. Since the words of God are autopistos, and therefore authentical "man-made" copies are not self-attesting and are therefore incorrect without the Scripture ever doing anything. When they are "correct" the Scriptures are autopistos and therefore attest to themselves as being the word of God. It is in this way that the Scripture "decides" [scare quotes ] which are correct and which are not.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote,

Ah, here's where we're getting to the equivocation. Earlier, "the believing community" was "all of the blood bought."

Once again you have not read what I wrote and I reiterate, I cannot be persuasive if you will not read my words. Furthermore, a sympathetic ear toward the Standard Sacred Text position would have saved you from this gaff as well. What I said was

"Thank you for your post Brother Blumer. The answer to question 1 is this, the Standard Sacred text position as I maintain it, holds that the believing community (i.e. blood bought saints, the Body of Christ)..."

This excerpt was from Post #2. Of course you know i.e. means "that is or read in its place" therefore my sentence read "holds that the believing community" i.e. "holds that blood bought saints". This is significantly different than "holds that all blood bought saints". I hope that you see the difference.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote

So here's where the circularity of this view emerges again.
The correct text = what has been approved by the believing community
The believing community = the one that has approved the correct text

You left out the third leg - the Holy Spirit. This is only untenable because you have removed God form the mix. I don't know how many times I have spoken of the Holy Spirit in this process and still you omit it. Once again I cannot be persuasive if you will not track with me and read my words.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote,

You are assuming the conclusion in the argument again. What's in dispute here, in part, is what "one jot or one tittle" means. Where does the Bible teach that this refers to particular copies or translations?

The Bible teaches that God speaks for Himself and those who are plenty potentiaries say only those things God has told them to say. One jot or one tittle is in reference to those things which God has spoken. Christ is speaking of literal Hebrew letters and parts about a literal copy of God's word in Hebrew and by extrapolation the inspired Greek New Testament. The Bible teaches us that one jot or one tittle refers to the particular Hebrew and Greek copies that God speaks in (i.e. autopistos, authentical, and self-attesting). To those particular copies the Bible speaks.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote

Why can the Bible in my hand not refer to both itself and a hypothetical text?

Really. The reason is that the Bible is actual and a hypothetical text is potential and as such is just as real and authoritative as a text written by unicorns.

Also you said,

to the extent they are in agreement with the originals?

By originals do you mean original languages, copies of the originals, or the autographs?

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote,

If you want to argue in a circle, you're welcome to do that. We all do it eventually with our ultimate/first principles (I believe the Bible is God's word because it says it is), but if you want to persuade anyone who is not a traditional text defender, you'll need to support your position with something stronger than: "The traditional text is correct because it has been approved by those who believe the traditional text is correct."

I have supported myself with something stronger, but you have once again omitted the place of the Holy Spirit in the paradigm. That's twice now in the same post. I would like to add to your parenthetical material. I believe the Bible is perfect (i.e. complete) and without error because the Bible says so.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

Brother Larry if I were to take your particular approach to theological discourse I suppose my entire post to you would be, "Post 122 is completely untrue and you have failed to advance your position, thus ultimately you have wasted your words. Thank you." But I'm not going to do that.

I answered your question. It was a compound question and you desire a simple univocal answer apparently. I divided my answer into two parts: one concerning the original languages and one concerning the translation. Please reread it, and I'll give you the Cliff Notes. Particular words of God in the Hebrew and Greek are revealed to God's people by the Holy Spirit because these words are self-attesting. Nobody in the MSTC crowd believe this. Brother Blumer and Brother Larry, by all means prove me wrong through quotation. I'd be willing to tighten that last sentence up. (If you want quotation from me please reference my Second Challenge and systematize that with the Scripture I offered in Post # 97) There is only one English version that emerged from this systematic paradigm - the King James Bible. In short the Hebrew and Greek underlying the KJB have been held by the believing community as equal to the those documents written at the hand of Moses and Paul, and the KJB is finest and fullest translation of that Hebrew and Greek.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

BACK TO YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAM

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote

Where am I clinging to post-Enlightenment thought? You do realize, don't you, that to characterize ideas as "post-Enlightenment" in any convincing way, you have to show that they are unique to Enlghtmt/Post-Enlghtmt thinking (ET)

I have. Look to my two challenges posted as separate topics and by all means provide contemporary scholarship that says the same thing. If you can't than consider the point proven as far as this discussion goes.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote

First, I think it is not accurate to say that W & H did not believe in the supernatural.

How about this with regard to the text critical process and the words of God,

"For ourselves we dare not introduce considerations which could not reasonably be applied to other ancient texts, supposing them to have documentary attestation of equal amount, variety, and antiquity." p. 277 Introduction to the New Testament in the Original Greek by Westcott and Hort

Commentary: W&H dare not consider inspiration, divine preservation, self-attestation, Holy Spirit leading and on and on because such things are not applied to other texts (e.g. the Iliad, the Republic etc). If fact the New Testament should be treated like all other texts with "attestation of equal amount, variety, and antiquity."

Your particular statement as quoted above gives the distinct impression that not only do you not know the Standard Sacred Text position you don't know the modern text critical position.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote

Second, you can hardly blame W & H for the existence of Aleph & B. They didn't create them.

I never said created. Once again I think that you have failed to read my words. I said and you quoted "these two scholars that reintroduced Aleph and B" not "that created Aleph and B". A fact that is not in dispute by W&H. Take some time to read Introduction to the New Testament in the Original Greek and I think you'll agree.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote

Were exactly have I defended an "era"?

I was thinking back to Post #25 where you wrote.

Peter, the grocery store that brought you pickled pigs feet (or whatever yucky thing you'd like insert here) also brought you high quality fresh fruit and really good pot roast.

Now tell us about all the "high quality" and "really good" things the post-Enlightenment grocery store offers the believing community in light of the garbage that came out of that same time.

I said

So I hope now you can understand 2 things: 1.) I for one, do not believe you when you say that post-Enlightenment systems are good things

Please refer to Post #25 and you will get your answer. Your analogy clear speaks of "high quality" and "really good" things. How else am I suppose to take it? It is probably best that you remember your own position before you accuse others of accusing you of your position.

Thus far you have demonstrated that you do not know my position or else you would not be asking so many elementary questions, you do not know your position or else you would have know W&H treatment of the supernatural and their love for Greisbach who also rejected the supernatural, and you do not know your own personal position as demonstrated in the last two treatments of your own words. How do you expect me to persuade you if you lack all of this knowledge?

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote

Cool. The counterargument then is, prove it.

No. Now it is time for you to disprove it. I have put the burden of proof in your court to show it to be otherwise. Show us all why the modernist paradigm is Scripturally, theologically, and historically suited to approve the modern texts. Lay it out for us systematically. Show us how the words of Holy Scripture were employed in the formation of the NA 27. Show us the quotes from W&H that show their consistency with historical Bibliology. Show us the consistency of Warfield with regard to the copies of the Greek and Hebrew to be equal with the actual autographa. We are all waiting...

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

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Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote

As for how the Spirit speaks to God's people--in pretty much any age--there are only a few possibilities:
He guides their rational thought process
He reveals truth to them directly by vision, dream, audible voice or "just knowing" (though the last might be hard to find examples of in Scripture)
He has said all He's going to say in Scripture, and we "hear" Him by reading
Is there something else?

Excellent! Now which one(s) in your opinion is/are the only one(s) working in the world at present?

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote

So where would any of these be happening when the believing community is looking at manuscripts that don't match and has to figure out which one is right?

I've said it dozens of times. The words of God are self-attesting. God's words possess a quality that no other word in the history of the universe possess - they are divine, inspired, self-attesting words. By the Spirit of God these unique words self-attest to the people of God by the Spirit of God.

In short the Holy Spirit not only teaches His people what the words of God say but also what they are. He not only informs of their particular meaning but also of their particular existence.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote

I've done textual criticism using the eclectic approach, does that mean I'm not saved?

This is a ridiculous question. Only you and God know the answer. Do saved people disobey God's word and are therefore out of His will with regard to certain thought processes? Yes. Your eclectic approach was not governed by God's word, Spirit and people (you admit so in your anemic exegetical defense in Post #30) and as a result it was an act of your own will which you find acceptable and perhaps laudable. I have no doubt that you or a professor of yours said from the lectern with regard to a give verse "I believe X would be better rendered as Y." Who cares what you or your professor believe. Its God's word you are dealing with. What does the Spirit of God say through His word to His people? You are the one making that choice to "better render" X as Y, not the Holy Spirit. Try it this way next time, "I have been lead by the Holy Spirit to render X as Y." You'll never say such a thing in earnest because you don't know. Your trust is not in the Spirit but in your own rational faculties, which ultimately fail when they try to access the transcendent.

This is a fundamental difference between you and I, you think yourself so wise and so educated that you, a man, can look at the Greek and Hebrew and with your “extensive training” in the original languages, archeology, and ANE culture tell the people of God that what they are reading in front of them isn't really what the Bible says. You think yourself so wise and educated that you can look at God's people and declare the way the word of God should read without ever giving account of the fact that you have no way of KNOWING outside of the Spirit of God that rendering X as Y is God speaking or you speaking what God has not spoken.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote

If you have never said this, please tell me what your argument on this point is.

No no, answer the question...

"What makes a single believer’s thought, doctrine and not opinion?"

You know after I posted the original post I found that some other brothers had noticed it and were having a brief discussion on that blog. On that blog you posted and said, "The question is not difficult so I'll post an answer." So "not difficult" that you were unaware of W&H transcendentless position? So "not difficult" that you have no Scripture to motivate whatever position it is that you take? So "not difficult" that you have yet to offer verifiable quotation to show your position is theologically and historically consistent with pre-Enlightenment Bibliology? So "not difficult" that you seem devoid of any historical teaching with regard to Turretin, Bullinger, Mastricht, Willet, Whitaker, or Muller? If this is classified as "not difficult" I hate to be in your shoes when "difficult" comes.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

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Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

With Regard to Muller,

Brother Charlie, I have some questions for you and those who stand with you in your treatment of Muller.

1.) When Muller writes concerning the “originals” is he speaking of the autographs (those documents written at the hand of Moses, Paul etc) or the apographs (copies)? The answer is the latter. When Muller writes “it also insists upon the priority of the Hebrew and Greek originals” he is not, nor is the tradition speaking of the documents written by the original writers. Muller writes on p. 413 of the volume you reference, “By ‘original and authentic’ text, the Protestant orthodox do not mean the autographa (those written by the hand of Moses, Paul etc) which no one can possess but the apographa in the original tongue which are the source of all versions.” Warfield rejects this notion. Hodge rejects this notion. If you stick with Warfield and Hodge you reject this notion.

2.) With regard to your second quote, it does not occur on page 84. I don’t know where you got it from but this is what you get for not doing the work yourself - a poor citation which makes no point because it cannot be verified.

3.) Your third citation is also not located on the page you indicate, so I did the work for you and found it on the previous page. The source you are getting your information from terminated the sentence at “integrity of the text on doctrinal grounds” but the sentence goes on to say “and then had predicated his attack on the new text-criticism of Cappel and Walton on his doctrine.” p. 133 Allow me to enlighten. Authority, infallibility, and integrity were decided by Owen on the basis of orthodox doctrine, pre-Enlightenment doctrine not the newest form of text criticism. Once again the post-Enlightenment text critical position is injured here rather than supported. I hope you are beginning to understand that you should do the work yourself, because at times like this it comes back to bite you if you don’t.

4.) As my Great Grandfather, a dairy farmer, would say “Shucks”. The very first line of your 4th quote stands against everything MSTC believes about the state of the Greek and Hebrew in the 21st century. When pre-Enlightenment theologians said “originals” they did not mean autograph, as a result the pure text is a copy of the document written at the hand of the original writers. If you had done your own research you would have found one sentence down from where your 4th quote terminates a quote from Leigh which reads,

“If the authority of the authentical (Mine: i.e. self-attesting, autopistos) copies in Hebrew, Chaldee, and Greek fall, then there is no pure Scripture in the Church of God, there is no high court of appeal where controversies (rising upon the diversity of translations, or otherwise) may be ended. The exhortations of having recourse unto the Law and to the Prophets, and of our Saviour Christ asking how it is written, and how readest thou, is now either of none effect, or not sufficient.” (Please note all the present tense, specifically "there is no pure Scripture in the Church of God" (at present))

So when you say “he and I would be in basic agreement re: inspiration/preservation” are you a defender of the purity of the actual Hebrew and Greek? You are not, if you stand with the modern text critical approach of the 21st century. Are you prepared to say that a copy of God’s word in the Hebrew and Greek are given to us in the very words of those documents written at the hands of Moses and the Prophets? I challenge you share such language from your study as you profess to have read some theology “over the weekend”.

One more thing which leads to my next point, Muller is perhaps the greatest historical theologian in the last 100 years. That means two things: 1.) Brother Charlie it is not an issue of “agreeing” with him. He is a reporter of the theology of church history and is extremely proficient at taking himself out of the equation and telling the reader of the history. (In fact, I sat in his class and inserting yourself into the equation rather than simply reporting the data was frowned upon) You do not agree with a reporter you agree with an analyst, and in the 21st century that is often confused and should not be. 2.) Brother Charlie, to say he is not a theologian when you have read only the quotes I have provided and the four you quoted out of context and with wrong notation, is demonstrate extreme ignorance and prejudice. When you have taken Theology Proper with him, as I did, and he begins to discuss the difference between in se and ad extra with regard to the attributes of God, you get back to me as to whether he is a theologian or not.

Quote:
Brother Charlie wrote

trying to determine the correct text

Do you understand how ridiculous this sounds, exegetically, theologically, and historically. When have men...trying...to determine the divine, holy, infallible, sacred, anything ever worked out to men’s satisfaction and God’s satisfaction. I’m going with... never.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote

Agree w/Charlie... we can't take the Reformation guys' words as though they were talking about the manuscript situation we have today.

Brother Blumer have you ever seen Willets textual apparatus in his Romans Commentary. No of course you haven’t. In places it dwarfs that of the apparatus in NA and UBS texts.

Brother Blumer do you realize that the pre-Enlightenment believing community was aware of Aleph and B and rejected them? Do this for me, go to your critical text and omit the “weight” of Aleph and B where Aleph and B are used to alter the pre-Enlightenment text and see how much “weight” is left over.

Brother Blumer, please tell us all how many more mss have been discovered since 1850 and their purported value and uniqueness that would so disqualify “the Reformation guys” from talking about what you are talking about in the 21st century.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote

The info. we have was not available yet nor was it on their horizon.

By all means prove this.

Quote:
Brother JayC wrote

Part of my underlying presuppositions...

Brother JayC, Paul quoted from pagan philosophers on Mars Hill, does that make the pagan philosophers, as you put it so clearly, “on the same level of authority in the New Testament”? Follow up, what if Paul quoted from the LXX does that make it “on the same level of authority in the New Testament”? Do you put present day textual scholarship on the level of an apostle writing inspired Scripture? Do you believe that the words from the LXX are authentical not because they are from the LXX but because they were written by inspiration in the moment Paul was writing?

This has been a true delight to see some of you expanding your horizons, even if something as simple as correct citation and context were ignored, but hey I don’t think I went to the schools you guys went to. Maybe that passes as good scholarship where you are from.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
1.) Where you say things such as "needs support" or " you need to prove this", do you realize that you are eminently capable of finding these things for yourself. Prove me wrong.

This is a burden of proof fallacy. It's not persuasive to state a position and then claim, as a supporting argument, that everyone is obligated to prove it false.
What is indisputable is that we have thousands of manuscripts that differ from one another, that a great many of these were not discovered and cataloged in until after 17th century, that "the believing community" began to question the traditional text's accuracy as soon as it became aware of these differing MSS.

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
2.) You have yet to set forth a position. Furthermore, many of the things I have written are common knowledge to a student of Church History...

I've written at some length on my position here. http://sharperiron.org/article/preservation-how-and-what-part-4
(Last in a four part series. Links there to the first three.)
As for church history: I deny that this is common knowledge. I am a student of church history. This is also a fallacious argument. The old "Everybody knows this" dodge.

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
...I need you to consider in your own heart and mind that you may be profoundly wrong.

You're making inaccurate assumptions here about my thought process. It isn't relevant, in any case. The question is whether your arguments are sound and whether mine are sound, not our states of mind before we arrived our positions.

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
...I never directed "one jot or one tittle" to a translation. ... Christ did not have the original documents written at the hand of Moses and the prophets, so when He spoke of one jot or one tittle not passing from "the law" He was speaking of copies.

Jesus was speaking of God's words themselves--what He actually inspired. These are as immutable as God Himself since He cannot forget them. But I do think Jesus implies that the original jots and tittles are among the variant readings we have on the earth as well. He was certainly not claiming that it was obvious to all which copies had all the right jots and tittles.

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
Aaron wrote:
Not in dispute: that copies of the Scriptures are authoritative and are the Word of God.

No you missed my point. Let me put this question to you. When Abraham said, "Moses and the Prophets" was he speaking of corrupted texts? In other words did Abraham point the rich man to a corruption, or did Abraham point him to the pure word of God?

He pointed him to the pure word of God which was suitably approximated in the available copies--just as it is now. The authority of the copies and their status as the word of God is not in dispute.

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
... The fact is that the power of the Spirit is not separate from the Spirit and the power of Scripture is not separate from the Spirit and the power of the word of Scripture is not separate from the Spirit and the power of the words of the message of the Scripture are not separate from the Spirit. The quoted John 16 passage is summary of the perspicuity of Scripture and the Spirit in the lives of the believers and lost.

I don't see the relevance. The fact that believers are indwelled by the Spirit and that the Spirit uses the Scriptures to guide and grow them is not in dispute.

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
Aaron wrote:
They do not claim to be enough to tell us which man-made copies of themselves are correct and which are in error.
Here is a perfect example of your lack of incorporation of historical exegesis and theology on an elementary level. Since the words of God are autopistos, and therefore authentical "man-made" copies are not self-attesting and are therefore incorrect without the Scripture ever doing anything. When they are "correct" the Scriptures are autopistos and therefore attest to themselves as being the word of God. It is in this way that the Scripture "decides" [scare quotes ] which are correct and which are not.

We've already had some exchanges on "self attestation." When the Scriptures self-attest, they do this to someone. The "self attesting" quality has to be recognized and that has always involved criteria and a thought process. So your appeal to self-attestation here begs the question. Are you saying that the correct readings are always simply obvious?
How do the Scriptures self attest that a verse should read "Christ" rather than "He"? But even if we grant that they do self attest, how do we recognize that self attestation?

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.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:

This excerpt was from Post #2. Of course you know i.e. means "that is or read in its place" therefore my sentence read "holds that the believing community" i.e. "holds that blood bought saints". This is significantly different than "holds that all blood bought saints". I hope that you see the difference.

So, just so we're clear, the "believing community" in your usage is some blood bought saints.

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
Aaron wrote:

So here's where the circularity of this view emerges again.
The correct text = what has been approved by the believing community
The believing community = the one that has approved the correct text
You left out the third leg - the Holy Spirit. This is only untenable because you have removed God form the mix. I don't know how many times I have spoken of the Holy Spirit in this process and still you omit it. Once again I cannot be persuasive if you will not track with me and read my words.

Peter, I read just fine. It's just that you clutter your argument with so much that is not in dispute and that does really support your position.
Adding the Spirit here does not remove the circularity of the argument.

The correct text = the one approved by the believing community through the Spirit
The believing community that has the Spirit = the group that approves the correct text

See? Still circular. It just can't work logically to offer "the believing community (w/Spirit) has kept this text" as evidence that it's the right text, then turn around and define the believing community (w/Spirit) as the one that has kept the text you think is correct.

It's like saying:
Steve: "Macs are better than PCs because computer experts all agree that this is the case."
Bill: "Who are these computer experts?"
Steve: "The guys who believe Macs are better than PCs."
Bll: "But what about Ralph over here who says PCs are better? And what about me? I think PCs are better."
Steve: "You are not computer experts."
Bill: "But I have degrees in computer science and have worked with PCs all my life!"
Steve: "No matter. Computer experts agree that Macs are better and you don't take that position; therefore, you are not a computer expert."

See the problem? And no, putting some analog of the Spirit into the illustration doesn't fix the problem.

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
Aaron wrote:

to the extent they are in agreement with the originals?

By originals do you mean original languages, copies of the originals, or the autographs?

I mean what God inspired. Autographs and any correct copies.

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
Aaron wrote:
...if you want to persuade anyone who is not a traditional text defender, you'll need to support your position with something stronger than: "The traditional text is correct because it has been approved by those who believe the traditional text is correct."

I have supported myself with something stronger, but you have once again omitted the place of the Holy Spirit in the paradigm. That's twice now in the same post.

I omitted the Spirit because including Him does not affect the circularity of the argument.

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.

Jay's picture

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. ][quote wrote:
Brother JayC wrote

Part of my underlying presuppositions...

*cocks eyebrow*

And you don't have any underlying presuppositions...say about the right text, the believing community (that you agree with), or the superiority of the KJV? Really? Because it seems to me like that's all you've discussed in this thread. Aaron's right - you make confident assertions and then expect that everyone will agree on the basis of that assertion.

Quote:
Brother JayC, Paul quoted from pagan philosophers on Mars Hill, does that make the pagan philosophers, as you put it so clearly, “on the same level of authority in the New Testament”?

When Paul quotes the philosophers in the Scripture, he is an accurately representing their quotes. That doesn't mean that he endorses what they say. My point is that how do you deal with those uses of the Scripture (from memory, from the LXX, and from letters) if there really is one SST?
Quote:
Follow up, what if Paul quoted from the LXX does that make it “on the same level of authority in the New Testament”?

Again, if Paul is quoting the LXX in the NT, it becomes a part of the inerrant record. It does not mean that the LXX is inerrant.
Quote:
Do you put present day textual scholarship on the level of an apostle writing inspired Scripture?

Of course not.
Quote:
Do you believe that the words from the LXX are authentical sic not because they are from the LXX but because they were written by inspiration in the moment Paul was writing?

The words are authoritative because they are described by the Scripture.
Quote:
This has been a true delight to see some of you expanding your horizons, even if something as simple as correct citation and context were ignored, but hey I don’t think I went to the schools you guys went to. Maybe that passes as good scholarship where you are from.

Insulting the people that you are debating doesn't make your argument any more compelling, but I'll let that one slide.

Oh, and by the way, I'm still waiting for you to explain the citations from http://sharperiron.org/forum/thread-modern-scientific-textual-criticism-... ]post #128 .

"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

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Quote:
Brother Larry if I were to take your particular approach to theological discourse I suppose my entire post to you would be, "Post 122 is completely untrue and you have failed to advance your position, thus ultimately you have wasted your words. Thank you." But I'm not going to do that.
I wonder if there is some confusion about what is going on here. I am not trying to advance a position. You are. And I am trying to understand the one you are trying to advance. The only way I know to do that is ask questions about things that are unclear.

So I have asked a number of what I think are pretty simple questions. Am I underestimating them when I say they are easy? Are they really hard questions to answer? All I want is some clarification about exactly what you are arguing for.

Quote:
I answered your question.
No you didn't. As you admit, you said something about original languages and something about translations, neither of which was connected to my question. You said nothing about the revealed status of hell vs. the revealed status of the TR/KJV.

Quote:
It was a compound question
No, it wasn't. My question was simple: Is your doctrine of the TR/KJV revealed in the way that the doctrine of hell is?

The answer is either "Yes it is" or "No it isn't."

You made an argument in posts 61 and 62 that appears to equate the denying the doctrine of hell with denying a particular view of inspiration and preservation.

Arguing about maturity or process is irrelevant to my question. My question is not about understanding or maturity or learning. It is about what you believe to be the facts. If something is wrong, then it is wrong regardless of maturity or process (though there may be differing levels of culpability for it). If someone denies hell, they are denying biblical revelation regardless of where in the process they are. Are they denying biblical revelation if they do not agree with your position on the text and translation?

What if I turn your argument around and say that your current position is the result of spiritual immaturity; that you are in process and moving towards a right goal? Are you willing to admit that you might be wrong about this, as you asked Aaron?

Quote:
In short the Hebrew and Greek underlying the KJB have been held by the believing community as equal to the those documents written at the hand of Moses and Paul
First, my question: How does that relate to the doctrine of hell?

Second, I don't agree with what I think you mean by this (though I may not know what you mean since you won't answer my questions). Does my disagreement mean I am not a part of the believing community?

If you don't answer, I won't keep it up. I would simply suggest that if you invite responses, that you interact with them. I hope you take five minutes or so and answer the half-dozen questions I have asked.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
Aaron wrote:
Where am I clinging to post-Enlightenment thought? You do realize, don't you, that to characterize ideas as "post-Enlightenment" in any convincing way, you have to show that they are unique to Enlghtmt/Post-Enlghtmt thinking (ET)

I have. Look to my two challenges posted as separate topics and by all means provide contemporary scholarship that says the same thing. If you can't than consider the point proven as far as this discussion goes.

Since I know what I believe I have an advantage over people who are claiming to know what I believe. I'm also pretty familiar with pre, intra and post Enlightenment thought, at least in areas that have any relevance to this discussion. I'm confident that I'm not clinging to unbiblical thought on these matters. It ultimately doesn't matter if some want to attach this or that label to it.

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
Aaron wrote:
First, I think it is not accurate to say that W & H did not believe in the supernatural.

How about this with regard to the text critical process and the words of God,
"For ourselves we dare not introduce considerations which could not reasonably be applied to other ancient texts, supposing them to have documentary attestation of equal amount, variety, and antiquity." p. 277 Introduction to the New Testament in the Original Greek by Westcott and Hort

This is not a statement in which W & H claim to disbelieve in the supernatural. What they are saying is that they think the process of evaluating copies for similarity to their originals is the same for the Bible as for any other copied document.
The idea is debatable. And not everyone who prefers an eclectic text does his work with the same view as W & H on that question.
My point here is that it is not possible to reject every idea W & H came up with on the grounds that they "did not believe in the supernatural" for two reasons: (a) the premise is not true and (b) the conclusion doesn't follow from the premise. (People who are wrong about some things are not, therefore, wrong about everything).

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
Aaron wrote:
Were exactly have I defended an "era"?

I was thinking back to Post #25 where you wrote.
Peter, the grocery store that brought you pickled pigs feet (or whatever yucky thing you'd like insert here) also brought you high quality fresh fruit and really good pot roast.
Now tell us about all the "high quality" and "really good" things the post-Enlightenment grocery store offers the believing community in light of the garbage that came out of that same time.

Saying that some good idea came from an era is not the same as "defending an era."
As for the good ideas, how about pasteurization for example.

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. ][quote=Aaron wrote:
... How else am I suppose to take it? It is probably best that you remember your own position before you accuse others of accusing you of your position.

Um. OK. Well, my position has been quite consistent: there is no era of history that produced 100% bad ideas.

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
Thus far you have demonstrated that you do not know my position or else you would not be asking so many elementary questions...
Yes, that was the point of asking.

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
Aaron wrote:
Cool. The counterargument then is, prove it.

No. Now it is time for you to disprove it. I have put the burden of proof in your court ...

No, you really haven't.
"Prove I'm wrong" is not a supporting argument.
As it happens, though, I've been proving you're wrong since I got involved in the thread.

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.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
Aaron wrote:
As for how the Spirit speaks to God's people--in pretty much any age--there are only a few possibilities:
*He guides their rational thought process
*He reveals truth to them directly by vision, dream, audible voice or "just knowing" (though the last might be hard to find examples of in Scripture)
*He has said all He's going to say in Scripture, and we "hear" Him by reading
*Is there something else?
Excellent! Now which one(s) in your opinion is/are the only one(s) working in the world at present?

Not relevant. Unless the traditional text view can show the Spirit does not work in the lives of believers who make text decisions eclectically, it hardly matters what form we say the Spirit's activity takes.

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
I've said it dozens of times. The words of God are self-attesting. God's words possess a quality that no other word in the history of the universe possess ...By the Spirit of God these unique words self-attest to the people of God by the Spirit of God.

I've also answered this several times.
The Scriptures self-attest to people and, historically, what we have understood to be self attesting is what books belong in the canon. Even then, the view was that we recognized the inherent authenticity by considering criteria and thinking it over. It was not an immediate (as in not mediated) revelation from God at the variant-readings level.
I really don't think you can show that a mystical knowing of correct MSS variants by the Spirit was a widely held view.

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
Aaron wrote:
I've done textual criticism using the eclectic approach, does that mean I'm not saved?

This is a ridiculous question.....

If applying your principle to a particular case is confusing, consider it in the abstract: is a person who uses an eclectic approach an unbeliever?
If the answer is "Maybe, but maybe not," your argument has a problem because it boils down to this:

  • Premise1: the believing community is able to recognize the correct text
  • Premise2: some in the believing community do not recognize the traditional text as correct
  • Conclusion: the traditional text is not universally recognized by the believing community

If you refine the premises, there's a different problem, but the argument still fails:

  • Premise1: obedient Christians in the believing community recognize the correct text
  • Premise2: some obedient Christians in the believing community do not recognize the traditional text as correct
  • Conclusion: same as above

So using this line of reasoning to support the traditional text requires changing premise2 to read- no obedient Christians in the believing community do not recognize the traditional text as correct. OK, but how does one support such a claim? So far, the support has been circular: "Because those who do not support the traditional text are disobedient."

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
You are the one making that choice to "better render" X as Y, not the Holy Spirit. Try it this way next time, "I have been lead by the Holy Spirit to render X as Y." You'll never say such a thing in earnest because you don't know. Your trust is not in the Spirit but in your own rational faculties, which ultimately fail when they try to access the transcendent.
The thinking here assumes that the Spirit cannot use "rational faculties." I say He can.
Here's two quick supporting arguments:

  • The Spirit inspired Scripture and yet, while He did so, the writers were clearly thinking like regular folks think. They reasoned from premises and even from observations.
  • The Spirit is God and God is omnipotent.

So, disprove that if you can. Specifically, prove that the Spirit does not work through the rational faculties of believers.

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
....you think yourself so wise and so educated that you, a man, can look at the Greek and Hebrew and with your “extensive training”... tell the people of God that what they are reading in front of them isn't really what the Bible says.

The MSS exist and they differ. So who is claiming the greater authority and expertise:

  1. the guy who says "what you are looking at is correct" or
  2. the guy who says "what you are looking at is incorrect"?

    Seems obvious to me that they are making equally authoritative claims and they should both be expected to support their claims. If the support is "The Spirit told me," you then have another claim to support.

    Peter wrote:
    ...you have no way of KNOWING outside of the Spirit of God that rendering X as Y is God speaking or you speaking what God has not spoken.

    How do you know when the Spirit of God is telling you that it's correct to render X as Y? We already know you aren't going to confuse your own "rational faculties" for the Spirit's leading because you've arbitrarily rejected those. But how do you avoid confusing your own intuitive hunches for the leading of the Holy Spirit?
    ("They are self attesting" doesn't help. A person still has to discern whether something is "self attesting" or not. How do you tell?)

    Peter wrote:
    Aaron wrote:
    If you have never said this, please tell me what your argument on this point is.

    No no, answer the question...
    "What makes a single believer’s thought, doctrine and not opinion?"

    The question makes an incorrect assumption. A single believer's thought is not doctrine. Nor are a thousand believer's thoughts.
    I don't see what this has to do with anything.

    Peter wrote:
    So "not difficult" that you were unaware of W&H transcendentless position?

    This is your incorrect assumption. You're usually safer letting other people tell you what they think rather than assuming or asserting what they think, when they haven't expressed their thoughts.

    Peter wrote:
    So "not difficult" that you have no Scripture to motivate whatever position it is that you take?
    Also not true.

    Peter wrote:
    So "not difficult" that you have yet to offer verifiable quotation to show your position is theologically and historically consistent with pre-Enlightenment Bibliology? So "not difficult" that you seem devoid of any historical teaching with regard to Turretin, Bullinger, Mastricht, Willet, Whitaker, or Muller? If this is classified as "not difficult" I hate to be in your shoes when "difficult" comes.

    Isn't the Bible pre-Enlightenment? I've quoted Scripture. But you're really doing a burden of proof switcheroo here again.

    • We have thousands of MSS now and they differ widely. That fact alone argues strongly that all the available data should be used when putting together a text.
    • Recent translations have been made by Christian people who believe in the power of God and the ministry of the Holy Spirit and reject modernism.
    • Christian doctrine must be derived from Scripture, and the Scriptures do not teach that copies would not differ or that there should be no thoughtful evaluation involved in selecting among the differences.

    These facts place the burden of proof on anyone who takes the kind of traditional text position you've articulated.
    ... and "prove me wrong" is not a valid supporting argument. (argumentum ad ignorantium)

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.

Jay's picture

Peter Van Kleeck wrote:
Brother JayC, Paul quoted from pagan philosophers on Mars Hill, does that make the pagan philosophers, as you put it so clearly, “on the same level of authority in the New Testament”?

Peter, why do you deliberately misquote me?

What I said was:

Quote:
Part of my underlying presuppositions is that we see use of the Scripture in the NT as the final authority without deference to text type or manuscript Jesus' citations of the OT (Mt. 4:1-10) with Paul's use of the LXX (Acts 13:26-48 and other epistles) and Peter's references to Paul's writings (II Peter 3:15-16) are all on the same level of authority in the New Testament. If that's the case, then why would it have changed for today's church? Did God somehow stop preserving the text and so that now we have to use only one manuscript family or translation?

If I had been inclined to say something about the pagan philosophers in Acts, I would have said so. The Areopagus debate is Acts 17, not in Acts 13 as I cited. Instead, you took what I said, twisted it, and then expect an answer to a question that is not only irrelevant, but not at all correct.

What I said, and meant, is this: Jesus' memorization of the OT in Matthew is authoritative in dealing with sin and Satan. Paul's use of the copies of the LXX to present the Gospel is also treated as the final word for unsaved Jews. Finally, Peter also states that Paul's writings (in whatever form they were in) are 'hard to understand' but are misused by others 'as...they do the other Scriptures.'. So what standard sacred text were they using?

"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

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

God breathed certain words. How do we know? God's says so in the Bible. How do we know what the Bible says is true? We know because God breathed the words and He can only issue truth.

God's words are autopistos. How do we know? God's says so in the Bible. How do we know what the Bible says is true? We know because God breathed the words and He can only issue truth.

God preserved these certain words. How do we know? God's says so in the Bible. How do we know what the Bible says is true? We know because God breathed the words and He can only issue truth.

Whatsoever is not of faith is sin. How do we know? God's says so in the Bible. How do we know what the Bible says is true? We know because God breathed the words and He can only issue truth.

MSTC does not profess to employ faith in their deliberations [I would hope that is clear in my W&H quote ], thus is sin. How do we know a faithless act is sin? God's says so in the Bible. How do we know what the Bible says is true? We know because God breathed the words and He can only issue truth.

God in the person of the Holy Spirit guides His people into all truth, including the very words of Scripture. how do we know this to be true? God's says so in the Bible. How do we know what the Bible says is true? We know because God breathed the words and He can only issue truth.

MSTC does not profess to employ the leading of the Holy Spirit in their deliberations [I would hope that is clear in my W&H quote ] and is therefore not Spirit lead. How do we know this process is not Spirit led? God's says in the Bible that if a thing is not of the Spirit than it is of the flesh. How do we know what the Bible says is true? We know because God breathed the words and He can only issue truth.

The Holy Spirit coupled with the self-attesting words of God guide the believers with regard to issues of life and godliness. God’s words are an issue of life and godliness. How do we know? God's says so in the Bible. How do we know what the Bible says is true? We know because God breathed the words and He can only issue truth.

God holds us accountable to a real standard not a hypothetical one. A hypothetical standard is not revealed to us and as a result is not revealed truth. How do we know? God's says so in the Bible. How do we know what the Bible says is true? We know because God breathed the words and He can only issue truth.

The list goes on...

How’s this for circularity, God gave the words, the words point to God, God points us to the words, the words point us to God. Start with God and end with God. Trying doing that with your system of textual criticism starting with W&H who reject the supernatural.

Are these statements circular? I would imagine that you will say yes, but they are nevertheless true. Why? Because unlike you, I believe they must be circular because they are ultimate. That is why for so many in Church History, the doctrine of Scripture comes before the doctrine of God. For the saint, what Scripture says about itself is true because God said so. What God says about Himself is true because the Bible tells us so. This is circularity for sure. All theology is ultimately circular. Theology starts with God and ends with God.

It is a classic post-Enlightenment rubric to pretend an objective basis from which to argue the Principium. As I shared your continual insistence on pointing out circularity with regard to the Principium, may Dad perused his Theology notes from his time at Westminster. Dr. Gaffin, who is by no means a so called King James Only guy and was the 40+ year theology prof of Westminster East, said that there is no objective basis from which to argue the Principium and John 1:1 was the basis of this statement. The Father is revealed in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ is revealed in God’s word by the Spirit. There is no objective basis for John 1:1 you either believe it or you don’t. God’s word points the believing community to Christ and Christ to the Father. We start with the Father and end with the Father, and in between in the directing work of revelation through the Spirit in the saint to life and in the lost to death. In short, God is ultimate because He is the First Cause. God’s word is ultimate because it by the Spirit is the first cause of faith. If you believe the word of God is ultimate then you would not pretend to correct it from the pulpit, nor would your prof from the lectern. God is not corrected from the pulpit or lectern and His words must be treated in like manner, because they are His words not yours when you read them. You do not possess God’s words, they possess you in the person of the Spirit of God.

If I offer Scripture you define it according to an interpretation from the mid-1800's.

If I offer verifiable quotation you reject it according to an interpretation from the mid-1800's.

If I offer my own knowledge you demand that I prove it through Scripture or verifiable quotation which you will reflect according to your mid-1800's hermeneutic.

Your entire hermeneutic, exegetical tradition, theological tradition, and historical tradition which undergirds your Bibliology is only about 150 years old.

The fact is that you are approaching this entire discussion with a young, adolescent, infantile paradigm that prohibits you from accessing the thousands of years of Church History that precedes the boyish paradigm you cling to.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

A few years back I presented a paper at the Evangelical Theological Society's Northeast Regional meeting against the Emergent Church. Brother Blumer, I have tried to pinpoint your particular approach to argumentation, church history, and progression and as I wrote this response it came to me that your methodology is much like that of the Emerging Church. You like the Emerging Church have rejected Church History and desire to start afresh in 1850 or so. You like the Emergent Church do not set forth an argument but rather call all others into question. You like the Emergent Church do not invoke any authoritative sources in exegesis, theology, and history. Ultimately you like the Emergent Church advance very little, apart from questions and uncertainty.

Your link to your 4 Part Series which I assume is an effort to prop yourself up as an accomplished student of Church History amounts to a book report in the academic spheres I'm acquainted with. I was hoping for something more substantive like a 60 page paper on the Certainty of Sacred Doctrine based on Medieval and Reformation scholarship which I wrote as my final paper for my ThM coupled with a 30 page paper I had to write for a PhD class I took with Dr. Muller on the Principium of Musculus and even that is a drop in the bucket compared to the thousands of pages and decades of research that Dr. Muller has put into his study of Church History. But a glorified book report, that is unacceptable as a standard of accomplishment of Church History knowledge in most academic circles, and I admit that I don't often run in the academic circles you do, so my standard may be off.

Brother JayC, I suppose you would consider my last sentence an insult. I do not understand how that is an insult. If I said, "This is some of the worst scholarship I have ever seen in my life." That would be more like an insult, but valid criticism of poor citations, ignorance of source context, and book reviews is not an insult especially if poor citations, ignorance of source context, and book reviews count as sound scholarship here on SI. I assume that you would not have swallowed Brother Charlie's citation had you known it was poor scholarship, but that critical process did not matter. You simply accepted it as good scholarship. Thus when I say that such gaffs may pass as good scholarship where you are from, I don't see why it is an insult when you did in fact receive those gaffs as sound scholarship.

Brother Blumer I am going to show you a little exercise, that I have encouraged you to pick up, but for some reason you avoid.

Quote:
You wrote

Jesus was speaking of God's words themselves--what He actually inspired...But I do think Jesus implies that the original jots and tittles are among the variant readings we have on the earth as well.

I disagree so I am now going to counter your argument. I am not going to ask for "clarification", "simplification", or for you to agree to my summary of your words. Christ is referring to a text on earth.

I would like first for everyone to notice Brother Blumer's lack of certitude. He writes "I do think", which means he doesn't know what he saying, he is only guessing. We all enjoy theological guesses don't we?

Mathew Henry writes in his commentary on Matt 5:18

"[W ]hen time shall be no more, and the unchangeable state of recompenses shall supersede all laws, one jot, or one tittle, the least and most minute circumstance, shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled;" for what is it that God is doing in all the operations both of providence and grace, but fulfilling the scripture?"

Henry is post-Enlightenment, and this is consistent with your position Brother Blumer. Jot and tittle according to his commentary does not have to do with a specific earthly text.

Francis Turretin writes concerning Matt 5:18 under sub-section The Scripture is not corrupted is proved,

"The reasons are: (1) The Scriptures are inspired of God (theopneustos, 2 Tim. 3:16). the word of God cannot lie (Ps. 19:8,9; Heb. 6:18); cannot pass away and be destroyed (Mt. 5:18); shall endure forever (1 Pet. 1:25); and is truth itself (Jn. 17:17)."

Next paragraph...

"Unless unimpaired integrity characterize the Scriptures, they could not be regarded as the sole rule of faith and practice, and the door would be thrown wide open to atheists [Mine: e.g. Evolution ], liberties [Mine: Emergent Church ], enthusiasts and other profane persons like them for destroying its authenticity (authentia) and overthrowing the foundation of salvation." p. 71 of Turretin's Institutes of Elenctic Theology Vol. 1.

Turretin and company were aware of variants. Turretin himself discusses the issue of scribal corruption, mss extinction, deterioration over time of mss etc. But here is the difference, when you see mss extinction, scribal error etc you deny the statement that there is a Scripture with "unimpaired integrity" that is so imminent that it is "regarded as the sole rule of faith and practice." Note, you cannot have the latter part without the former part. This is yet another place where you diverge. You say, Yeah my Bible has errors but it can still be the sole rule of faith and practice. The Standard Sacred Text position maintains along with historical exegesis and theology that unimpaired integrity (i.e. every jot and tittle) is essential to the Scripture being the sole rule of faith and practice, and this is drawn from texts like Matt 5:18.

Brother Blumer you maintain a position well outside that of the believing community before the Enlightenment. By faith those who hold the Standard Sacred Text position hold to the unimpaired integrity of the real and present Scriptures, you do not. You maintain the unimpaired integrity of some hypothetical text, which you will never reach apart from the impelling power of the Spirit to move God's people to accept the self-attesting words of God. Do you think evolution just snuck in all of a sudden. The believing community knew that unless unimpaired integrity characterized the Scriptures that things like evolution would be allowed to penetrate ecclesiastical discussion. I suppose you consider it a coincidence that Evolution, Marxism, Freudianism, Relativism all got their footings around the same time the Religious denied the unimpaired integrity of Scripture? I hope your answer is no.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

I doubt I will ever persuade you, but that doesn't mean I won't try. Whether you agree with me or not, what you should do is recognize that there is preponderance of exegesis, theology, history, and scholarship that supports the Standard Sacred Text position, and as a result it is best that you take this topic out of your "not a problem" category because there is more than meets your eye.

Exercise ended.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote,

So, just so we're clear, the "believing community" in your usage is some blood bought saints.

Why do you insist on quantifying this? What if I came to your church and asked, before I can believe this is a body of believers I need you, Brother Blumer to tell me how many are saved and walking with the Lord. The only person that knows the answer to that question is the Spirit of God and I trust Him to lead those people to the words of God and their meaning. Its that simple. I don't know who is saved and I don't know how the Spirit moves, but I know these things exist and I know they work together with the self-attesting words of God, because the Bible says so. God's people, God's words, and God's Spirit are intimately connected to place that where the people of God are so also is the Spirit of God and word of God.

Brother JayC, I already responded to the quotes on 128. In sum, #1.) When you and Warfield use original or autograph you refer to those written at the hand of Moses and the Prophets. Protestant scholasticism does not. Protestant scholasticism uses original or autograph with reference to copies or the apographa. #2.) The citation cannot be verified. #3.) For Owen "doctrinal grounds" equals pre-Enlightenment dogmatics which includes the Spirit moving in God's people with regard to the self-attesting word of God over against scientific textual methodology. #4.) The autographa for the pre-Enlightenment scholarship is not something we are looking for like the Search for the Historical Jesus stuff. For pre-Enlightenment scholarship the autographs were clear and present in a copy which they called Holy Scripture and you call the Masoretic Hebrew and TR as distinct from other “equal“ compilations of the Hebrew and Greek text. You and those who hold you position continue to search for the autographa, the Protestant scholastics did not speak in this way. Please consider the quotations of Post 128 responded to, twice.

I continue to enjoy our time here on SI. Thank you to all those who have contributed and continue to contribute. You have provided may interesting foils with which to work. I hope it continues.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Quote:
Brother Blumer said,

As for the good ideas, how about pasteurization for example.

Wow, impressive. Both applicable and profound.

Quote:
Brother Blumer said,

there is no era of history that produced 100% bad ideas.

I agree now help us all understand the "good ideas" concerning Bibliology that spawned from the post-Enlightenment era.

Quote:
Brother Blumer said,

"Prove I'm wrong" is not a supporting argument.

If am wrong then truth is on your side. Show us the truth. Enlighten us. [Like that play on words Smile ]

Quote:
Brother Blumer said,

it hardly matters what form we say the Spirit's activity takes.

This is absurd, unless you are a Pentecostal.

Quote:
Brother Blumer said,

historically, what we have understood to be self attesting is what books belong in the canon.

First, prove it. Second, how on earth can a book be self-attesting if the words are not? If all of the words in book X are not self-attesting then only part of the book is self-attesting. Third, I would like for you to explain to us the process of how canonization happened?

The whole premise 1, 2, Conclusion thing is flawed dramatically in this respect. You do not know, you cannot know, who is saved and who is obedient. To entertain your hypothetical logic serves no purpose.

Quote:
Brother Blumer said,

The thinking here assumes that the Spirit cannot use "rational faculties." I say He can.

Sure, but how do you know He IS.

Quote:
Brother Blumer said,

So who is claiming the greater authority and expertise:

God is because He declared His words to be pure and holy in form and doctrine. When you talk about the Bible you do not say it is pure and holy in form and doctrine because what you see in the divergence of mss trumps what God says.

Quote:
Brother Blumer said,

How do you know when the Spirit of God is telling you that it's correct to render X as Y?

In the same way the Spirit leads one to accept the resurrection as true, and that Jesus is the Son of God.

Quote:
Brother Blumer said,

We have thousands of MSS now and they differ widely.

We had thousands at the time of the King James Bible. What advances have there been since them. Name me substantive MSS after 1800.

Quote:
Brother Blumer said,

Recent translations have been made by Christian people

How do you know they are Christians? Judas walked with the Lord. The only way you know is if what they do is consistent with what the Bible says about itself. If the Bible says the Bible is pure, then do these Christians say it is pure? If no, then they are behaving link the lost. If yes, then they are in submission to the Scriptures.

Quote:
Brother Blumer said,

the Scriptures do not teach that copies would not differ or that there should be no thoughtful evaluation involved in selecting among the differences.

I agree, but thoughtful evaluation alone cannot select authoritatively, therefore what follows is not necessarily authoritative and as a result is not necessarily God's word. If what that thing is, is not necessarily God's word then it is not God's word. God's word cannot be potentially God's word.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Won't have time to work on a complete reply until later. But a little bit now...

Peter wrote:
God breathed certain words. How do we know? God's says so in the Bible. How do we know what the Bible says is true? We know because God breathed the words and He can only issue truth.

God's words are autopistos. How do we know? God's says so in the Bible. How do we know what the Bible says is true? We know because God breathed the words and He can only issue truth.

God preserved these certain words. How do we know? God's says so in the Bible. How do we know what the Bible says is true? We know because God breathed the words and He can only issue truth.

Whatsoever is not of faith is sin. How do we know? God's says so in the Bible. How do we know what the Bible says is true? We know because God breathed the words and He can only issue truth.


I readily acknowledge that when it comes to first principles, everybody is stuck either with circularity or direct revelation or groundless assumption or something like that.
So most of the first couple of sentences here are fine.

But there is no virtue in circularity where it isn't needed. Once we have embraced the idea that the Scriptures are true and are God's revelation to us, we need to avoid circularity for the rest.

Similarly, there's no virtue in equivocation as a method of argument.

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.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
God breathed certain words. How do we know? ...

There's a lot in that section that is not in dispute. For the sake of brevity I'll probably ignore must of what is already among the points of agreement.

Peter wrote:
MSTC does not profess to employ faith in their deliberations [I would hope that is clear in my W&H quote ], thus is sin. How do we know a faithless act is sin? God's says so in the Bible.

Several things are wrong with your reasoning here.
1. The W&H quote demonstrates that some who do not prefer the traditional text believe the process of tracing copies to originals is the same for all kinds of written work and that nothing supernatural is required to do it.
So, unless you define MSTC as "all who believe precisely what W&H believed and only those who believe as they did," your generalization fails. And if you do define MSTC that way, it fails as argument against all who do not prefer the traditional text. The reason is that some who do not prefer the traditional text do not share W&H's perspective on that.
2. Using "whatever is not of faith is sin" in they way you do here is not sustainable and doesn't fit the sense of the passage in its context. As for the latter, the passage is about believers participating in activities they believe may be wrong, in violation of conscience. As for the former, if you define "not of faith" as "anything we do that does not involve faith or guidance of the Spirit directly in its process," brushing your teeth is not of faith and is sin.

Several posts ago I offered a counterargument based on Richard Dawkins' atheism. If Dawkins invents a method for dating old sandwiches in the fridge based on rate of mold growth and I use his method to decide which sandwiches to throw out, am I an atheist?
I notice that you haven't offered any response to that.
The same example answers the "methods must involve faith" argument. While I think the Spirit should be sought as an aid even to ordinary intellect when doing text work, there is nothing inherently unchristian or unbiblical about taking the position that a method that came from unbelievers is effective in the work of comparing copies and seeking the best readings.

Peter wrote:
MSTC does not profess to employ the leading of the Holy Spirit in their deliberations [I would hope that is clear in my W&H quote ] and is therefore not Spirit lead. How do we know this process is not Spirit led? God's says in the Bible that if a thing is not of the Spirit than it is of the flesh. How do we know what the Bible says is true? We know because God breathed the words and He can only issue truth.

This is the same kind of reasoning you used above as suffers from the same problems.

Peter wrote:
Are these statements circular? I would imagine that you will say yes, but they are nevertheless true. Why? Because unlike you, I believe they must be circular because they are ultimate.

Several of your statements are nothing close to ultimate.

Peter wrote:
That is why for so many in Church History, the doctrine of Scripture comes before the doctrine of God. For the saint, what Scripture says about itself is true because God said so. What God says about Himself is true because the Bible tells us so. This is circularity for sure. All theology is ultimately circular. Theology starts with God and ends with God.

You've mixed quite bit of the not ultimate and then included it in observations about the ultimate.
It's like a bowl of fruit with apples and pineapples in it. Select some apples, observe that they are round and red, then claim that you've proven pineapples are round and red.

Peter ]It is a classic post-Enlightenment rubric to pretend an objective basis from which to argue the <i>Principium</i>. [quote=Peter ]<br /> Nobody here is doing that.</p> <p>[quote=Peter wrote:
If I offer Scripture you define it according to an interpretation from the mid-1800's.

Didn't happen.

Peter wrote:
If I offer verifiable quotation you reject it according to an interpretation from the mid-1800's.

Didn't happen either.

Peter wrote:
If I offer my own knowledge you demand that I prove it through Scripture or verifiable quotation which you will reflect according to your mid-1800's hermeneutic.

Well, I'll plead guilty to saying that if you make a claim, you should support it. You're claiming I have a mid-1800's hermeneutic. Feel free to support that if you can.

Peter wrote:
Your entire hermeneutic, exegetical tradition, theological tradition, and historical tradition which undergirds your Bibliology is only about 150 years old.
The fact is that you are approaching this entire discussion with a young, adolescent, infantile paradigm that prohibits you from accessing the thousands of years of Church History that precedes the boyish paradigm you cling to.

When you don't have a point, just turn up the emotional volume. But my answer is the same. Feel free to support these claims if you can.

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.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Peter wrote:
A few years back I presented a paper at the Evangelical Theological Society's Northeast Regional meeting against the Emergent Church. Brother Blumer, I have tried to pinpoint your particular approach to argumentation, church history, and progression and as I wrote this response it came to me that your methodology is much like that of the Emerging Church.

Feel free to support this claim if you can.

Peter wrote:
Your link to your 4 Part Series which I assume is an effort to prop yourself up as an accomplished student of Church History amounts to a book report in the academic spheres I'm acquainted with.

The series is not about church history.
And I didn't claim to be an accomplished student of church history. I claimed to be a student. The generalization I was answering said "any student of church history..."

Peter wrote:
I was hoping for something more substantive like a 60 page paper on the Certainty of Sacred Doctrine based on Medieval and Reformation scholarship which I wrote as my final paper for my ThM coupled with a 30 p...

It turned out that the question I was answering in the series was pretty easy to answer briefly. It's not an accomplishment to take 60 pages to communicate a 6 page argument.

Peter wrote:
...citations, ignorance of source context, and book reviews count as sound scholarship here on SI.

Peter, nobody claims that what we post is "scholarship." Were you hoping that all this irrelevant stuff you're posting would get me off topic? Don't think I haven't noticed that none of this has anything to do with supporting the four basic arguments you've offered for the superiority of the traditional text.

Peter wrote:
I am going to show you a little exercise, that I have encouraged you to pick up, but for some reason you avoid.
Aaron wrote:
Jesus was speaking of God's words themselves--what He actually inspired...But I do think Jesus implies that the original jots and tittles are among the variant readings we have on the earth as well.

I disagree so I am now going to counter your argument. I am not going to ask for "clarification", "simplification", or for you to agree to my summary of your words. Christ is referring to a text on earth.

"Among the variant readings" would be on the earth also, yes. But Psalm 119:89 says God's words are forever settled in heaven. Are you denying that they are preserved in Heaven?

Peter wrote:
I would like first for everyone to notice Brother Blumer's lack of certitude. He writes "I do think", which means he doesn't know what he saying, he is only guessing. We all enjoy theological guesses don't we?

I invite anyone to pick up a dictionary and look up the word "think." Then look up the word "guess."
Should I pretend to be certain of conclusions I cannot support? But in my series on preservation (linked to earlier), I did offer the evidence and why I lean that direction. I'm not going to be intellectually dishonest and claim that I think the evidence warrants certainty when I don't believe it does.
I'm not a fan of certainty over truth.

Peter wrote:
Mathew Henry writes in his commentary on Matt 5:18
"[W ]hen time shall be no more, and the unchangeable state of recompenses shall supersede all laws, one jot, or one tittle, the least and most minute circumstance, shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled;" for what is it that God is doing in all the operations both of providence and grace, but fulfilling the scripture?"
Henry is post-Enlightenment, and this is consistent with your position Brother Blumer. Jot and tittle according to his commentary does not have to do with a specific earthly text.

Your use of post-Enlightenment is ambiguous here. You seem to be arguing that Henry's view of Matt.5.18 has to be "post Enlightenment" thinking because Henry thinks it and was born after the Enlightenment. But that reasoning would make everything in all six volumes "post-Enlightenment," including, say, direct creation.
Not strong point, to say the least.

Peter wrote:
Turretin and company were aware of variants. Turretin himself discusses the issue of scribal corruption, mss extinction, deterioration over time of mss etc. But here is the difference, when you see mss extinction, scribal error etc you deny the statement that there is a Scripture with "unimpaired integrity" that is so imminent that it is "regarded as the sole rule of faith and practice."

non sequitur.
a. The word itself is settled forever in heaven.
b. The copies do not have to be perfect to retain unimpaired integrity in what they teach.

Peter wrote:
Brother Blumer you maintain a position well outside that of the believing community before the Enlightenment.

Two things on that:
a. You still haven't established that.
b. Even if nobody held a position before the E., this does not, in itself, prove the position false. Nor does it's present after the E. chronologically prove that it is has a philosophical character unique to Post E. thought.
(As I mentioned earlier--and still no counter from you--a Post E. thinker invented pasteurization. The fact that this idea came after the E. in time does not prove it is an idea that is unique to E. or Post E. epistemology or philosophy or anything else.)

Peter wrote:
I suppose you consider it a coincidence that Evolution, Marxism, Freudianism, Relativism all got their footings around the same time the Religious denied the unimpaired integrity of Scripture? I hope your answer is no.

Coincidence... no. Relevance... also no. Nobody here is denying "the unimpaired integrity of Scripture" (UIoS).
Defining UIoS unequivocally breaks your argument here.

  • If you say UIoS means "we have a text we know is word perfect," it's a belief you can show we reject but not a believe you can show to be universal (or even majority) before the Enlightenment.
  • But if you say UIoS means "we know we have the Word of God in a form that compromises none of its teachings," it's a belief you can show to be majority Pre-E. but cannot show that anybody here is rejecting.

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.

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