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

EditorAdmin

Peter, I wonder if you've ever watched or participated in a policy-style or Lincoln Douglas style debate... or watched a reasonably accurate courtroom drama. What happens is that one side expresses it's position then supports it with arguments. Then the other side offers counterarguments to those and offers arguments in support of its own position. Then the first side has an opportunity to defend it's original arguments by finding flaws in the counterarguments and/or offers new arguments. And so on.
The judges watch for sound arguments on both sides and cross off the ones that are successfully countered and not successfully defended.
If a counterargument is ignored, the argument it countered is usually not scored. It's dead.

I only mention all of this because your method in this entire discussion has been kind of like this:

  • Peter: Supporting argument A, Supporting argument B, Supporting argument C
  • Aaron: Counterargument to A, Counterargument to B, Counterargument to C
  • Peter: Supporting argument D, Supporting argument E, Repeat Supporting Argument A and B.

Eventually new arguments gave way entirely to repeating already countered earlier arguments. But what's been pretty consistently missing:

  • Peter: Counterargument(defense) to counterargument A, Counterargument to counterargument B, etc.

Of course, you can debate any way you like, but readers who are in the middle are going to see (or sense at some intuitive level) that you've mostly repeated or recast dead arguments rather than effectively defending them with counter-counterarguments. People tend to assume that an ignored counterargument is an unanswerable one.

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

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

I honestly think what I have expressed to you Brother Blumer is something you have no idea about. I really think that. It is not some condescending statement but the true belief of my heart. You have demonstrated almost zero understanding of the church historical position, Latin/Greek terminology, and the historical exegesis of the passages I have offered. As a result I ask that you leave the complexity of the argument out and deal with an extremely elementary presentation of the position.

My argument concerning the Greek and Hebrew:

Presupposition: King David did not have the original Pentatuch with Moses’ fingure prints on it, therefore what King David did have was a copy of the Pentatuch (apographa).

Part A: God’s word [a copy ] is pure indeed, very pure because it says it is. (Ps. 119:140)

Part B: Modern text critical theory argues that God’s word [a copy ] is approximately pure. [e.g. W&H ]

Conclusion: Modern text critical theory has replaced “very pure” with “approximately pure” with regard to God’s word and is therefore not bound by Scripture with regard to Scriptural purity.

Your counterargument:
____________________________

I argue among many other things the resurrection, 6 day creation, the virgin birth, the Trinity, justification, eternal life, the nature of sin, the existence of the soul, the foundation of truth, the deity of Christ, the aseity of God in the same way I argue for the purity of Scripture. The Bible says so.

Then arise those who say that say Jesus body was stolen, that the creation account is about the Creator King, the creature king, and the creature kingdoms and therefore the 6 days in irrelavant, that the “virgin” is mearly a young woman, that the Trinity is realy Tritheism or Modalism, that justification is to make righteous rather than declare righteous, that eternal life simply does not exist, that sin is simply behavioural rather than spiritual, that the soul does not exist, that the foundation of truth is in constant flux, that Christ was simply a good man and teacher, and that God is the earth or is in the earth.

When this kind material comes up then I resort to the historical theology and reasoning of the believing community and use their scholarship against errors like those in the above paragraph. Scholarship hardly ever wins the day, but it shows that the Standard Sacred Text position is not a 20th century contrivance seeing that it can be traced back to before the Middle Ages.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Jay's picture

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
My argument concerning the Greek and Hebrew:

Presupposition: King David did not have the original Pentatuch with Moses’ fingure prints on it, therefore what King David did have was a copy of the Pentatuch (apographa).

Part A: God’s word [a copy ] is pure indeed, very pure because it says it is. (Ps. 119:140)

Part B: Modern text critical theory argues that God’s word [a copy ] is approximately pure. [e.g. W&H ]

Conclusion: Modern text critical theory has replaced “very pure” with “approximately pure” with regard to God’s word and is therefore not bound by Scripture with regard to Scriptural purity.


Peter -

You make an assumption here that Ps. 119:140 is applicable to ONLY one manuscript family. I was reading in Ps. 119 yesterday, and I do not recall any portion of that Psalm talking about manuscripts or preserved copies, let alone one specific family of texts. So can you please explain how that passage clearly links to the manuscript of your choice, and how that is certain?

If you can do that, then I think we might be able to make headway in agreeing. That said, asserting that Ps. 119:140 teaches the perfect preservation of one specific manuscript type is bad exegesis at a minimum. That Psalm teaches the preservation of God's Word (along with all it's other manifest perfections), but it does not argue that only one text family is the pure one, unless you want to argue that the Word that is perfectly preserved in heaven, as Ps. 119:89 says.

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

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

More counterarguments then, I guess.

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
I honestly think what I have expressed to you Brother Blumer is something you have no idea about. I really think that. It is not some condescending statement but the true belief of my heart. You have demonstrated almost zero understanding of the church historical position, Latin/Greek terminology, and the historical exegesis of the passages I have offered. As a result I ask that you leave the complexity of the argument out and deal with an extremely elementary presentation of the position.

On the first part. You're welcome to believe what you like about my understanding of the issues involved. But as far as it relates to the debate, it's not really relevant. My claims and supporting arguments should be considered on their own merits.

Though I accept that Peter means his observation kindly, it is nonetheless, a type of red herring fallacy known as the ad hominem. People usually attach "attack" after ad hominem these days, but that's really not the issue. The fallacy basically says "So and so's argument A is unsound because he lacks quality B." But the soundness of arguments does not depend on who expresses them.

On the second part, I decline to accept any restrictions on what points I'll argue. If it matters, I had something like six semesters of Greek and at least two of Hebrew... and I've got some really good books by guys way smarter than me. I think I'll go ahead and brave the complex stuff.

On the other hand, I've been saying all along that this is really pretty simple.
http://sharperiron.org/comment/36413#comment-36413 ]Boiling it down...
http://sharperiron.org/comment/37388#comment-37388 ]Argumentum verbosium
http://sharperiron.org/comment/37438#comment-37438 ]About the OP
A few others scattered inside other posts.

Peter wrote:
My argument concerning the Greek and Hebrew:
Presupposition: King David did not have the original Pentatuch with Moses’ fingure prints on it, therefore what King David did have was a copy of the Pentatuch (apographa).
Part A: God’s word [a copy ] is pure indeed, very pure because it says it is. (Ps. 119:140)
Part B: Modern text critical theory argues that God’s word [a copy ] is approximately pure. [e.g. W&H ]

Three counterarguments:

  1. There are different ways to be pure. Two come pretty quickly to mind: pure as in morally/spiritually flawless, and pure as in unmixed with anything else. How do you know which David means? If you think he means both, how do you know he means both?
  2. It is possible that the copy he had was "pure as in having no scribal errors."

    These two counterarguments both assume that you are correct that "God's word" means "my copy of God's word, specifically." I've assumed it provisionally for the first two arguments. The next does not assume it.
  3. It is possible, indeed likely, that David is speaking of the Word itself and not of any particular set of copies--and that he includes all of God's spoken word (as in "Let there be light" at creation) as well as what is inspired and written.

    Evidence: For ever, O LORD, Thy word is settled in heaven. Ps.119:89

    (As an interesting digression: the very next verse, Ps.119:90 has a footnote in the KJV where the translators note that the Hebrew reads a bit differently than they have translated it. So I wonder which is "the word of God," the way they handled v.90 or the way they noted it in the margin?)

    Anyway, I've pointed out several times already (one of those counterarguments you keep ignoring) that David clearly believes God's word is not necessarily just on earth. He seems to view its permanence and perfection as being rooted in the God who's word it is (and not in mere human efforts to copy it, etc.).
    So my view, once again, is that God's Word is indeed pure. I have several copies in different translations on my shelf. Those are pure too, though not in precisely the same degree in every sense of the term.

    Peter wrote:
    I argue among many other things... in the same way I argue for the purity of Scripture. The Bible says so.

    Well, that is the question isn't it. What does it say in this case?
    Another counterargument I mentioned earlier (that I don't think you've answered) is that the Bible does not always mean what seems to mean at first glance. Does the earth have four corners? (Is.11:12).

    Peter wrote:
    Scholarship hardly ever wins the day, but it shows that the Standard Sacred Text position is not a 20th century contrivance seeing that it can be traced back to before the Middle Ages.

    Already counterargued many times. Repeating your claim/argument will not make it stronger.

    The discussion has been pretty enjoyable, but it's getting more and more repetitive now. Maybe I'll put anchors in my previous posts so I can link to specific paragraphs, then just post the links. Save some typing.

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

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Brother Blumer's three counterarguments:

There are different ways to be pure. Two come pretty quickly to mind: pure as in morally/spiritually flawless, and pure as in unmixed with anything else. How do you know which David means? If you think he means both, how do you know he means both?
It is possible that the copy he had was "pure as in having no scribal errors."
These two counterarguments both assume that you are correct that "God's word" means "my copy of God's word, specifically." I've assumed it provisionally for the first two arguments. The next does not assume it.
It is possible, indeed likely, that David is speaking of the Word itself and not of any particular set of copies--and that he includes all of God's spoken word (as in "Let there be light" at creation) as well as what is inspired and written.

You counter arguments are bogus for at least 2 reasons:

1.) You defeat your own counterarguments by not giving a definitive alternative. That is to say, you say "there are different ways" and "it is possible" but in the end you do not confirm the truth of your own conclusions you simply note their possibility. If you do not agree then neither do I.

Side Note: Not only have you demonstrated your pitiful understanding of church history, historical theology, and the Standard Sacred Text position you have now demonstrated that your hermeneutic (Method of Interpretation) is shot too. How else to explain the comfort whereby you offer 3 separate and equal interpretations, as Medieval Rome did?

2.) You "counterarguments" are not Scripturally based. There is nothing in the context to lend itself toward your possibilities. This goes for Brother Blumer and Brother JayC, there is nothing in the text to point to a moral/spiritual quality, text types, scribal errors, or Christ. All it says is the word (hr'm.ai) which means "utterance, speech, or word" is very (daom.) "exceedingly, abundance, muchness" pure (@rc) "test, to test and prove true".

Am I missing something or is there nothing in here about Brother Blumer's and Brother JayC's supposed counterarguments.

Brother JayC, I don't care at this point about mss families. I just wish you would grow some courage and say your Greek and Hebrew text is very pure as to the words. Then say it of the latest version of the Bible that you read, "so long as it agrees with your very pure Greek and Hebrew".

So I restate my position,

Presupposition: King David did not have the original Pentateuch with Moses’ figure prints on it, therefore what King David did have was a copy of the Pentatuch (apographa).

Part A: God’s word [a copy ] is pure indeed, very pure because it says it is. (Ps. 119:140)
Part B: Modern text critical theory argues that God’s word [a copy ] is approximately pure. [e.g. W&H ]

Conclusion: Modern text critical theory has replaced “very pure” with “approximately pure” with regard to God’s word and is therefore not bound by Scripture with regard to Scriptural purity.

There is no mention here of KJB, TR, Masoretic, Standard Sacred Text, text types, scribal errors etc. So don't go there. Do the grammatical and exegetical work and if I missed something about mss text types or scribal error in the Hebrew of Ps. 119:140, then by all means exegete the Hebrew for me and lend a Brother a hand.

As for whether I have ever been in a formal debat, no I have not but I have always thought it would be a fun thing to do. I perfer discussing theology face-to-face sitting around a table at Mr. Fables (a family restaraunt in Grand Rapids MI) over a cup of coffee and a slice of pie, but SI will do. Smile

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Peter wrote:
You counter arguments are bogus for at least 2 reasons:
1.) You defeat your own counterarguments by not giving a definitive alternative. That is to say, you say "there are different ways" and "it is possible" but in the end you do not confirm the truth of your own conclusions you simply note their possibility. If you do not agree then neither do I.

Not sure I follow your reasoning here. Your claim was that David meant "pure" to say that "my copy has every single word of the original." I showed a couple ways that this claim is not necessarily true.
When countering a claim by showing that there are other possibilities, it isn't necessary to commit to one of the possibilities.
Rather, by showing the possibilities I'm basically arguing that some support is necessary for the claim that David meant "pure" in the particular way you're claiming.
I thought the questions I asked in the context made that pretty clear.

Peter wrote:
... you have now demonstrated that your hermeneutic (Method of Interpretation) is shot too. How else to explain the comfort whereby you offer 3 separate and equal interpretations, as Medieval Rome did?

Umm... not quite what I did. I listed possible ways to understand what David said. See above. There is nothing hermeneutically special about looking at a passage and considering several possible meanings as part of the process of identifying the most likely correct one. There's really no other way to read anything, though we usually intuitively settle on a most likely meaning very quickly as we read.

Peter wrote:
2.) You "counterarguments" are not Scripturally based. There is nothing in the context to lend itself toward your possibilities.

Actually, for the third possibility I quoted Psalm 119.89. Everybody can see that.
As for the other two, you don't really need biblical support to list the lexical possibilities for a term. It's just part of reading. But as it turns out, the passage I cited in the third possibility also lends some support to at least one of the others. In fact, there is no reason why two of the three cannot both be correct. I.e. "God's words are pure in character--including every word He has ever said and ever will say."

Peter wrote:
..there is nothing in the text to point to a moral/spiritual quality, text types, scribal errors, or Christ.

There is also nothing in the context that excludes these things. We were talking about what "pure" means there, and to some extent, what "word" means.
Your view of the meaning of "pure" requires support just as much as anyone else's view... and yours is as much without support in the context or text itself as any other.

Peter wrote:
All it says is the word (hr'm.ai) which means "utterance, speech, or word" is very (daom.) "exceedingly, abundance, muchness" pure (@rc) "test, to test and prove true".

See? Even whatever lexicon you were using there lists the possibilities... which means selecting one of them requires some support. Why that one? It matters to your argument whether David meant "utterance" or "written Scripture." Your argument depends on it being "written Scripture" because David has to be thinking "this copy I have here."
(Though it seems like I remember you expressing some disbelief in authorial intent a while back. If that's the case, I guess what David was thinking is irrelevant.)

Peter wrote:
So I restate my position,

It remains inadequately supported.

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

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

My position restated:

Presupposition: King David did not have the original Pentateuch with Moses’ figure prints on it, therefore what King David did have was a copy of the Pentateuch (apographa).

Part A: God’s word [a copy ] is pure indeed, very pure because it says it is. (Ps. 119:140)
Part B: Modern text critical theory argues that God’s word [a copy ] is approximately pure. [e.g. W&H ]

Conclusion: Modern text critical theory has replaced “very pure” with “approximately pure” with regard to God’s word and is therefore not bound by Scripture with regard to Scriptural purity.

Brother Blumer’s bogus counterarguments:
1.) There are different ways to be pure. Two come pretty quickly to mind: pure as in morally/spiritually flawless, and pure as in unmixed with anything else. How do you know which David means? If you think he means both, how do you know he means both?
2.) It is possible that the copy he had was "pure as in having no scribal errors."
These two counterarguments both assume that you are correct that "God's word" means "my copy of God's word, specifically." I've assumed it provisionally for the first two arguments. The next does not assume it.
3.) It is possible, indeed likely, that David is speaking of the Word itself and not of any particular set of copies--and that he includes all of God's spoken word (as in "Let there be light" at creation) as well as what is inspired and written.

I reiterate, there is only one interpretation of a given passage of Scripture and many applications. This is not philosophy class, or art class. The Bible in a given passage says only one thing. Offering multiple meanings is to say the Bible has multiple meanings concerning a single passage which is exactly what Medieval Rome presented in their, literal, metaphorical, moral and anagogical meanings. You have offered three meanings, which is to demonstrate that you are Romanish in your hermeneutic or hermeneutically bankrupt as a Protestant/Baptist.

You counter arguments are bogus for at least 2 reasons:

1.) You defeat your own counterarguments by not giving a definitive alternative. That is to say, you say "there are different ways" and "it is possible" but in the end you do not confirm the truth of your own conclusions you simply note their possibility. If you do not agree then neither do I.

Simply because you offer possibilities that you yourself are not sure are true does not demonstrate a legitimate alternative, rather mere presentation of several possibilities shows that you doubt your own possibilities. You see you have only offered possibilities, not even probabilities, let alone certainties, which means you are the furthest you can be from actuality apart from falsities or lying. So if you are not certain that what you say is true, I agree that what you have said is not true, but possible, less than probable and definitely not certain.

Ex.: I say President Obama is the President. Your counterargument is that it is possible that Joe Biden be President. This is not a counter argument, it is simply a non-actual possibility. The only thing that makes Joe Biden President is if there are certain evident contextual supports, which do not now exist. There is no evident contextual support to argue from Ps. 119:140 about moral purity, scribal error, or Messianic prophecy specifically. It is simply saying that God’s word is very pure.

2.) You "counterarguments" are not Scripturally based. There is nothing in the context to lend itself toward your possibilities. This goes for Brother Blumer and Brother JayC, there is nothing in the text to point to a moral/spiritual quality, text types, scribal errors, or Christ. All it says is the word which means "utterance, speech, or word" is very "exceedingly, abundance, muchness" pure "test, to test and prove true".

Words have inherit meaning. The context limits the meaning of the word. In this case the context limits the meaning to "word", "very", and "pure" in the present tense. Furthermore, your first "counterargument" is about moral purity which in the OT is more connected to the Hebrew (qodesh) not (tsaraph) of Ps. 119:140. Your second "counterargument" says nothing of "scribal error", which amounts to isogeses (adding something to God's word that God did not say) on your part. Your third "counterargument" depends on your ability to demonstrate that this passage is clearly a Messianic prophecy beyond the Christocentric character of Scripture, which you have not. Once again, at this point your 3 "counterarguments" are bogus.

You know why Brother Blumer will never understand the Standard Sacred Text position nor will he ever be persuaded? Brother Blumer cannot admit that when God's word says God's word is very pure that God's word means God's word is very pure.

Brother Blumer, Is God’s word, God’s word?

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Peter wrote:
I reiterate, there is only one interpretation of a given passage of Scripture and many applications.

...
Peter wrote:
The Bible in a given passage says only one thing. Offering multiple meanings is to say the Bible has multiple meanings ...

If you reread my previous post I think you'll see that you're arguing a point that is not in dispute. Every passage means only one thing. The question is, which thing does it mean?
My point in showing possible interpretations was to urge you to support the particular interpretation you've chosen.
There seemed to be an unstated premise in your argument: "these words can only mean x." Such a premise is defeated by pointing out that w, y or z are also possibilities.
The "only x is possible" claim is defeated with or without certainty about w, y or z.

Peter wrote:
your first "counterargument" is about moral purity which in the OT is more connected to the Hebrew (qodesh) not (tsaraph) of Ps. 119:140.

Now here is actual engagement. If there is lexical evidence that "pure" in the passage must mean "pure as in containing every word originally inspired" that would be support for your claim. I'll have to do a bit of research on that and see if there's something to it.

Peter wrote:
Your second "counterargument" says nothing of "scribal error", which amounts to isogeses (adding something to God's word that God did not say) on your part.

I think you're not understanding my counter there. The point there is to grant, for the sake of argument that "word" and "pure" mean "the copy I have" and "pure as in has every original word." I then point out that if you're right that he's talking about his copy, it doesn't follow that he means "every copy" much less "every copy, or a text made from them by the believing community with the aid of the Spirit."

So, basically, with that counter, I'm saying "What if David really does mean 'my copy' when he says word and what if his copy really does have every original word in it? What does that prove about the traditional text other people compiled thousands of years later?"
This counter is intended to pull for more clarity of the term "word." It either means David's copy or it is comprehensive, not both. If it means David's copy, his statements do not clearly apply to other copies. If it's meant comprehensively, his statement does not necessarily apply to any particular copy.

But really, option 2 is not my view. It's just another possibility to show that the claim "this passage can only mean x" is not true.... as a back up in case counter 1 should fail. Which it hasn't yet.

My own view is that both 1 and 3 are correct. They are not mutually exclusive because counter 1 has to do with "pure" and counter 3 has to do with "word."

Peter wrote:
Your third "counterargument" depends on your ability to demonstrate that this passage is clearly a Messianic prophecy beyond the Christocentric character of Scripture, which you have not.

Actually messianic prophecy is not at all related, nor is christocentrism. The third counter is supported by Psalm 119:89... that "word" is meant comprehensively and David is not limiting his observation about purity to the Scriptures, much less his own copy of them.

Peter wrote:
You know why Brother Blumer will never understand the Standard Sacred Text position nor will he ever be persuaded? Brother Blumer cannot admit that when God's word says God's word is very pure that God's word means God's word is very pure.

Peter, I think you know that if you look up "pure" you'll find different senses of the term. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God's word is entirely pure.

Peter wrote:
Brother Blumer, Is God’s word, God’s word?

Yes.

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, have you read or do you intend to answer my http://sharperiron.org/comment/37985#comment-37985 ]post #213 ?

"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

All I have said thus far is,

Presupposition: King David did not have the original Pentateuch with Moses’ figure prints on it, therefore what King David did have was a copy of the Pentateuch (apographa).

Part A: God’s word [a copy ] is pure indeed, very pure because it says it is. (Ps. 119:140)
Part B: Modern text critical theory argues that God’s word [a copy ] is approximately pure. [e.g. W&H ]

Conclusion: Modern text critical theory has replaced “very pure” with “approximately pure” with regard to God’s word and is therefore not bound by Scripture with regard to Scriptural purity.

I find nothing in the text, context, or lexical meanings to assume any of your "counterarguments" except for the case of one and it will need some tweeking. Furthermore you have presented nothing in those regards to support your "counterarguments".

Second until you actually say which of the possibilities you have offered is indeed the correct interpretation, I still maintain that what you have presented is not a "counterargument" but a series of possibility, and a possibility has no bearing in reality until it becomes actual. Therefore until you chose the 1 interpretation that you think is correct, then you defeat your own "counterarguments" by not admitting the correctness of one over the others.

Brother Blumer wrote

Quote:
that "word" is meant comprehensively and David is not limiting his observation about purity to the Scriptures, much less his own copy of them.
Let's run with this one for a bit.

You answered "Yes" to Is God's word, God's word?

Next question, Is King David's copy of the Pentateuch, God's word?

Brother JayC I already answered any question you might have in Post#213 in the sense that right now in our discussion mss families have nothing to do with Ps. 119:140. So I am not going to address Post #213 for the same reason I would not address a question about the concept that the shortest, oldest, and hardest reading is best. It is simply not in view here. What is in view is that David said God’s word is pure, and MSTC says it is approximately pure ergo MSTC is not bound by Scripture with regard to Scriptural purity. Stay on track.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Peter wrote:
Presupposition: King David did not have the original Pentateuch with Moses’ figure prints on it, therefore what King David did have was a copy of the Pentateuch (apographa).

This is not in dispute.

Peter wrote:
Part A: God’s word [a copy ] is pure indeed, very pure because it says it is. (Ps. 119:140)
Part B: Modern text critical theory argues that God’s word [a copy ] is approximately pure. [e.g. W&H ]

Part B is not in dispute if you take "word" to mean "the text we have compiled" and "pure" to mean "pure, as in containing every word originally inspired"
Part A has already been effectively countered. You have not shown that "word" in David's statement must mean "my copy" or even "written Scriptures only."

Peter wrote:
I find nothing in the text, context, or lexical meanings to assume any of your "counterarguments" except for the case of one and it will need some tweeking. Furthermore you have presented nothing in those regards to support your "counterarguments".

Anyone who can read can see that this is not the case. The text itself contains the words "word" and "pure" and these terms have more than one possible meaning. I have argued that the meaning you have chosen is not necessarily the right one and requires support.
Further, I have supported this using Psalm 119:89. David's assertion that the word is in heaven supports the idea that David uses "word" to mean "all that God has ever communicated or will communicate, whether written, spoken or other." It indirectly supports the idea that "pure" means "pure in character."

Peter wrote:
until you actually say which of the possibilities you have offered is indeed the correct interpretation, I still maintain that what you have presented is not a "counterargument" but a series of possibility, and a possibility has no bearing in reality until it becomes actual. Therefore until you chose the 1 interpretation that you think is correct, then you defeat your own "counterarguments" by not admitting the correctness of one over the others.

I've already covered both of these bases.
a. If someone claims that "x must mean y," that assertion is effectively countered by showing that "x may mean v, w, or z."
b. I've told you which possibility I prefer: a combination of possibility 1 and possibility 3. Possibility 1 concerns "pure" and takes it mean "pure in character," and possibility 3 concerns "word" and takes it to mean "all that God has communicated or will communicate in any form."

Peter wrote:
You answered "Yes" to Is God's word, God's word?
Next question, Is King David's copy of the Pentateuch, God's word?

Yes.

One loose end from a couple posts ago.
Is there lexical evidence that the word "pure" in Psalm 119:140 means "pure, as in containing every word originally inspired"?
The word "pure" there is צרף (tsaraph) which is a metallurgical term (Is.40:19 -AV, "goldsmith;" Jer.10:9- AV, "founder;" Mal. 3:2 - AV, "refiner") normally meaning refined by fire/smelting. Metaphorically, it has the idea of tested and proven. (Psalm 18:30, 2Sam22:31- AV, "tried")
I suppose one could argue that having tested and proven character includes the idea of "having all of something and none of something else." But really, the key to understanding "pure" in the passage is to understand "word" properly. David only has a copy, but that doesn't mean he can only talk about a copy. He is speaking about the character of God's "word" in the comprehensive sense.

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.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

I am beginning to think Peter is getting paid by the word.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Please remember, an accurate counterargument will disprove the position that God’s word calls God’s word very pure and MSTC calls God’s word approximately pure, therefore MSTC is not bound by Scripture.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
Anyone who can read can see that this is not the case. The text itself contains the words "word" and "pure" and these terms have more than one possible meaning.

I have already given that up but I have added that the context has limited the possible meanings. Word's do not have multiple meanings in a given context unless you are Roman Catholic. Simply stating a possibility does not conclude anything real. You assume your possibility is valid and sound, but offer nothing in the text, context, or grammar to support it. A possibility can only be valid and/or sound if it is proven to be so. You have not done this. If we were in a court case and I said as the prosecutor that defendant X murdered so and so. Your counterargument is, "No, my defendant was in Tahiti." Is this possible? Sure, planes and travel as they are, but is there anything to show this is the case. Do you have something in the context of the situation that puts your client in Tahiti?

Brother Blumer wrote

Quote:
I suppose one could argue that having tested and proven character includes the idea of "having all of something and none of something else."

Then concede the point. It is clear that you are not sure of your own possibilities, seeing that you have offered three possibilities for a text that you concede has only one meaning. This is proof of your own indecision. Then you agree that my one position works and still you disagree, from a position of uncertainty concerning your own position.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
David only has a copy, but that doesn't mean he can only talk about a copy. He is speaking about the character of God's "word" in the comprehensive sense.

I said I'd be willing to run with this one for a bit. But please answer my question so we can continue to run with option 3 of your three possible options.

Is King David's copy of the Pentateuch, God's word?

I’ll give you my answer, Yes. Now what is your answer?

Brother Blumer where does "the Bible being in Heaven" come into the context of Ps. 119:140? If you are looking for a cross reference why don't you go to Proverbs 30:5 using the same Hebrew word for "word" and "pure" which says, "Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him." Is this verse only about the Bible in Heaven too?

Side Note: Brother Blumer how do you get Hebrew font to come over into the forums?

Brother Van Emmerik wrote,

Quote:
I am beginning to think Peter is getting paid by the word.

I love your signature. So are you about the Master's business when you issue cheap shots?

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Peter wrote:
Please remember, an accurate counterargument will disprove the position that God’s word calls God’s word very pure and MSTC calls God’s word approximately pure, therefore MSTC is not bound by Scripture.

Actually, a counterargument only needs to show that the particular argument it is countering is faulty.
The fact that God's word calls itself very pure is not even in dispute. I'm not going to argue against that. The points of contention are what what statement means.
As to what it means, I've not only shown that your view lacks adequate support but that another view has better support.

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
Anyone who can read can see that this is not the case. The text itself contains the words "word" and "pure" and these terms have more than one possible meaning.

I have already given that up but I have added that the context has limited the possible meanings. Word's do not have multiple meanings in a given context unless you are Roman Catholic.

We're back to that again? Nobody is saying the word has all the possible meanings.
It's increasingly apparent that you cannot follow the argument. I'm not sure why.

Suppose a guy named Bob walks into the kitchen one morning and finds a little note from his wife saying "Kids need breakfast." Son comes into the kitchen at that point and says "Where's Mom?" Bob shows him the note.
Bob says: "The note clearly means that your mother has gone shopping and will be returning shortly to fix breakfast."
Son says: "No, I think she means that's gone over to the orphanage to serve breakfast. It's her turn this week."
Bob: "Looks like this note has more than one possible meaning. Can you tell me why I should understand it the way you do?"
Son: "Come on, Dad. Everybody knows the note can't have more than one meaning! ... unless you're a Roman Catholic."
Bob: "I don't know what Roman Catholics have to do with this conversation, but I didn't say the note had more than one meaning. I said, it has more than one possible meaning. I don't think you're understanding of it is correct. Can you tell me why I should interpret it that way?"
Son: "It has to mean that. The context limits the meaning of the words."
Bob: "How so? Looks to me like 'kids' could mean you and your sister or could mean the orphans."
Son: "There you go again, saying words have more than one meaning."

I don't really know what can be done for the son in this scenario. He's not thinking clearly.

Peter wrote:
Simply stating a possibility does not conclude anything real.

Actually showing possibilities can prove something. Another analogy.
A murder has occurred. Police think the butler did it. They question him. Butler says "It's impossible that I could have done it. I was at the dentist having my teeth fixed."
Police question further and find out butler was not at the dentist at the time of the murder. Police: "Dentist says you were not there. It is therefore possible that you committed the murder." The possibility is the conclusion of the counterargument. It defeats the claim that "My murdering him is impossible."

In the case at hand...
Your claim, Peter, is that "word" and "pure" can only mean x and y. This is another way of saying "It is impossible that 'word' and 'pure' could mean anything but x and y."
My counter was to show that "word" and "pure" can also mean other things. "Possible" counters "impossible."
But I went a step further and showed evidence for taking "word" and "pure" to mean particular other things (pure in character, and all word of God in all forms).
Your claim is dead twice over.

Peter wrote:
Quote:
I suppose one could argue that having tested and proven character includes the idea of "having all of something and none of something else."

Then concede the point.

You just said stating a possibility doesn't prove anything. In most cases, that's true (if the claim is 'impossible' then showing a possibility does prove something.)
But if you think that "pure" can be understood in this way in this case, that would be your point. You are welcome to support it. I've already suggested why I don't think it fits the passage. It's in the last couple sentences of my previous post.

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
David only has a copy, but that doesn't mean he can only talk about a copy. He is speaking about the character of God's "word" in the comprehensive sense.

I said I'd be willing to run with this one for a bit. But please answer my question so we can continue to run with option 3 of your three possible options.

At least twice now I've told you which possibility I prefer and have supported it from Scripture (Psalm 119:89). My view is that "pure" means "pure in character" and "word" means "everything God has ever said, etc."
This is getting tediously repetitive.
Soon, I'll have nothing more to say than "Already answered. See previous posts."

Peter wrote:
Is King David's copy of the Pentateuch, God's word?
I’ll give you my answer, Yes. Now what is your answer?

Pretty sure I already answered that. Yes.
That David had God's word is not in dispute here.

Peter wrote:
Brother Blumer where does "the Bible being in Heaven" come into the context of Ps. 119:140? If you are looking for a cross reference why don't you go to Proverbs 30:5 using the same Hebrew word for "word" and "pure" which says, "Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him." Is this verse only about the Bible in Heaven too?

Already explained this.... more than once. See previous posts.

Peter wrote:
Side Note: Brother Blumer how do you get Hebrew font to come over into the forums?

I'm not sure. I just copied and pasted from Logos. I think the key is probably that it's using the Hebrew characters in a unicode font. There might be some PCs on which the text I pasted is gibberish, depending on what fonts they have installed.

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

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
Actually, a counterargument only needs to show that the particular argument it is countering is faulty.

You can't show fault with an unsupported guess.

Brother Blumer wrote

Quote:
We're back to that again? Nobody is saying the word has all the possible meanings.

You can't follow your own argument. If it is not all then pick one, and reject the other. I'm not going to hold your hand and pick for you. They are your ideas, pick the one you think is right.

Concerning your scenario,

You are exactly the Son in your scenario because you have issued nothing to support the claims of options 1 and 2 and number 3 needs some refinement which I am attempting to work with you on.

Concerning your second scenario you wrote,

Quote:
A murder has occurred. Police think the butler did it. They question him. Butler says "It's impossible that I could have done it. I was at the dentist having my teeth fixed."
Police question further and find out butler was not at the dentist at the time of the murder.

The essence of the underlined portion is not represented in any of your counterarguments. You have presented no syntactical, grammatical, or contextual evidence that supports your several options. There is a little in #3 and I think we are getting there.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
My counter was to show that "word" and "pure" can also mean other things. "Possible" counters "impossible."

Without grammatical, syntactical, and contextual support your possibilities are absurd. David could be a Sodomite according to some with regard to his relationship to Jonathan. The word he is speaking of may be the word of his God that allows Sodomy and purity may be in reference to the fact that the Bible in his hand is not leprous. The fact is that you offer "possibilities" as some how they are legitimate because you think they make sense. **News Flash** Sodomy makes sense to a Sodomite but that does not make it reasonable or right before God. Offering "possibilities" that you have yet to support with the grammar are senseless and ungodly unless you can show their existence in the text and context of the verse in question. You apparently have no problem adding words to Scripture in your text criticism, and you have no problem adding words to God's words in your preaching either.

All I have said is that Bible in David's hand is called very pure, and there is nothing in the text or context of Ps. 119:140 that in some way disputes this, yet you do and still you say you are in submission to God's word with something as clear as this.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
I suppose one could argue that having tested and proven character includes the idea of "having all of something and none of something else."

The reason I called for you to concede the point was that you seemed to understand the validity of the case but at the same time were unsure of yours because you have yet to choose one of the multiple options as to how to interpret Ps. 119:140. Let me refresh everyone's memory of your multiple options,

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
1.) There are different ways to be pure. Two come pretty quickly to mind: pure as in morally/spiritually flawless, and pure as in unmixed with anything else. How do you know which David means? If you think he means both, how do you know he means both?
2.) It is possible that the copy he had was "pure as in having no scribal errors."
These two counterarguments both assume that you are correct that "God's word" means "my copy of God's word, specifically." I've assumed it provisionally for the first two arguments. The next does not assume it.
3.) It is possible, indeed likely, that David is speaking of the Word itself and not of any particular set of copies--and that he includes all of God's spoken word (as in "Let there be light" at creation) as well as what is inspired and written.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
At least twice now I've told you which possibility I prefer...

So you "prefer" the third option. Is your preference what the Bible says or not? You make me laugh sometimes. So when you speak with other concerning the truth of Scripture is this how speak, teach, and preach, with "Well I prefer to read the Bible as x and y". No wonder our Baptist churches are in trouble, we have men like Brother Blumer comfortably saying, "I prefer to read the Bible this way." One's relationship with the Bible is a matter of right and wrong not "I prefer." I guess the big question is, Do you believe through the gift of faith what your "prefer"?

The two questions concerning the option your "prefer" have been:

Do you believe God's word is God's word?
Brother Blumer said Yes.

Is King David's copy of the Pentateuch God's word.
Brother Blumer said Yes.

New Question:

Is King David's copy of the Pentateuch very pure according to Ps. 119:140?
My answer - Yes. What is your answer?

I don't have Logos so that may be my problem. I'll keep working on it.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Peter wrote:
You can't show fault with an unsupported guess.

Readers can see that I supported it. In fact, in an earlier post, you supported it also by quoting various meanings of "pure"--presumably from a lexicon.
Also supported from Psalm 119:89.

Peter wrote:
You can't follow your own argument. If it is not all then pick one, and reject the other.

Already picked one. Are you even reading what I post?
But if someone claims "only one thing is possible," that claim is refuted by pointing out that there are other possibilities. Picking one of them is just icing on the cake.

Peter wrote:
You are exactly the Son in your scenario because you have issued nothing to support the claims of options 1 and 2 and number 3 needs some refinement which I am attempting to work with you on.

I've already answered the "nothing to support" claim multiple times. See previous posts.

Peter wrote:
Peter wrote:
A murder has occurred. Police think the butler did it. They question him. Butler says "It's impossible that I could have done it. I was at the dentist having my teeth fixed."
Police question further and find out butler was not at the dentist at the time of the murder.

The essence of the underlined portion is not represented in any of your counterarguments. You have presented no syntactical, grammatical, or contextual evidence that supports your several options. There is a little in #3 and I think we are getting there.

I've quoted Psalm 119:89 as support and have explained its relevance.
I've also supported the claim with an argument from how language works: words have multiple possible meanings and readers must decide which is correct/most likely. (This is "lexical" evidence, I suppose... or "just obvious" evidence.) If they want to persuade others, they have support the choice they've made.
I'm not using syntactical or grammatical arguments here because the grammar and syntax of Psalm 119:140 are not in dispute.

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
My counter was to show that "word" and "pure" can also mean other things. "Possible" counters "impossible."

Without grammatical, syntactical, and contextual support your possibilities are absurd.

Already answered.

Peter wrote:
David could be a Sodomite according to some with regard to his relationship to Jonathan. The word he is speaking of may be the word of his God that allows Sodomy...

I'm not seeing the relevance.

Peter wrote:
All I have said is that Bible in David's hand is called very pure, and there is nothing in the text or context of Ps. 119:140 that in some way disputes this, yet you do and still you say you are in submission to God's word with something as clear as this.

I believe David's Bible was very pure. This is not in dispute.

Peter wrote:
because you have yet to choose one of the multiple options as to how to interpret Ps. 119:140. Let me refresh everyone's memory of your multiple options...

Already selected one.... three or four posts ago. I'm sure nobody's memory needs refreshing on that.

Peter wrote:
New Question:
Is King David's copy of the Pentateuch very pure according to Ps. 119:140?
My answer - Yes. What is your answer?

Yes. Everything God has ever communicated or ever will communicate is pure.

I'm out of time. Will see if I missed anything important later.

Edit. Missed this one...

Peter wrote:
So you "prefer" the third option. Is your preference what the Bible says or not?

I'll take the second half that question first. What it "says" is not in dispute. What it means is the issue.
On that, and to answer the first part of the question, I'll quote myself...
Aaron wrote:
b. I've told you which possibility I prefer: a combination of possibility 1 and possibility 3. Possibility 1 concerns "pure" and takes it mean "pure in character," and possibility 3 concerns "word" and takes it to mean "all that God has communicated or will communicate in any form."

As for "prefer," if you find that language puzzling, you clearly don't read commentaries much. But either way, consider it an invitation. Since I'm not claiming the view with absolute certainty, you may be able to persuade me to take another view. Providing support for your view would be a good place to start.

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

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

The focus of the present discussion is the following:

Presupposition: King David did not have the original Pentateuch with Moses’ figure prints on it, therefore what King David did have was a copy of the Pentateuch (apographa).

Part A: God’s word [a copy ] is pure indeed, very pure because it says it is. (Ps. 119:140)

Part B: Modern text critical theory argues that God’s word [a copy ] is approximately pure. [e.g. W&H ]

Conclusion: Modern text critical theory has replaced “very pure” with “approximately pure” with regard to God’s word and is therefore not bound by Scripture with regard to Scriptural purity.

Simply that, and still Brother Blumer fights.

Brother Blumer wrote

Quote:
I've quoted Psalm 119:89 as support and have explained its relevance.

You have demonstrated no relevance to "very pure" other than quoting a verse that says “thy word is settled in heaven.” What in the context of Ps 119:140 directs the reader to look to Heaven for the purity of God's word? You cannot simply quote a verse that is not in the immediate context and then say that both are saying the same thing. You need to show that they are saying the same thing. V. 140 uses "word" and "very pure", no mention of Heaven. So how do you make the connection? Because v. 140 says "very pure" it has to mean Heaven? That is pitiful exegesis, and just to make a point that is simply wrong.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
I've also supported the claim with an argument from how language works: words have multiple possible meanings and readers must decide which is correct/most likely.

This continues to show that you hermeneutic is bankrupt. The above statement is Roman Catholic to the core. You said above that the "readers must decide which is correct/most likely." That is exactly what the Roman said was the job of the Priest and Bishops, to decide for the rest of us how the Bible reads, and therefore it was those heretics (Baptist and Protestants) who wanted the Bible in English that needed to be burned at the stake, because they believed that "readers" do not decide the meaning of the text but the text itself in its context by the Holy Spirit so it does not matter what language the Bible is in. The more you talk the more Roman Catholic you get.

New Flash -Scripture would mean what it means without a single human reader. -New Flash

Let me break it to you again, the context limits the meaning of a given word, not the reader.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
"just obvious" evidence

I suppose obvious to a crazy man. You are fighting tooth and nail to say that David is not talking about the Bible in his hand when there is nothing in the text and context to point to anything else. Truly madness.

I wrote,

Quote:
David could be a Sodomite according to some with regard to his relationship to Jonathan. The word he is speaking of may be the word of his God that allows Sodomy...

Let me simplify this for you. You said that your preferred to read the Bible as X. I offered the above argument to show other poitions (in this case theologians that support Sodomy) that prefer to read the Bible you read a different way. My point is this, simply because you prefer to read the Bible as X does not make it right before God whether you are a theologian arguing for Sodomy or a Baptist arguing that "pure" equals "in Heaven".

Simply put, "very pure" does not equal "in Heaven." The Hebrew word simply does not support it. Now you can be a crazy man and say that 2+2=5, but the Math simply does not support that. It is the same case here "very pure" in the Hebrew of Ps. 119:140 does not mean "in Heaven" of Ps. 119:89. Furthermore, there is nothing in the Hebrew word for "word" to say that it is specifically speaking of a word in Heaven. Still you bring it into Heaven. Stay on track Brother Blumer.

Did you know Brother Blumer that every verse of Ps. 119 says something of God’s testimonies, commandments, statues, words, laws etc except two? Do you claim that all of the verses of Ps. 119 are to be filtered through v. 89?

When David speaks of keeping, obeying, seeking them with his whole heart, trusting, hoping, not declining, beholding, etc is he talking about the the word of v.89 or is Ps 119 about the Bible in David’s hand?

David is keeping, obeying, seeking, trusting, hoping and beholding a real book in his hand that is called “very pure,” unless of course you are prepared to demonstrate that David is in Heaven when writing Ps. 119 so that he may “behold“ that heavenly Book.

I can’t believe you are trying to argue this with me.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
I believe David's Bible was very pure.

And MSTC does not, therefore MSTC is not bound to Scripture with regard to the purity of Scripture. Yield the point of post #1.

Brother Blumer wrote in response to the question, "Is King David's copy of the Pentateuch very pure according to Ps. 119:140?"

Quote:
Yes. Everything God has ever communicated or ever will communicate is pure.

MSTC replaces "very pure" with "approximately pure", therefore MSTC is not bound by Scripture. Yield the point of post #1.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
As for "prefer," if you find that language puzzling, you clearly don't read commentaries much.

Once again you made me laugh. Thank you. Like what commentaries? I'm calling your bluff. Show us. Show us the commentary that "prefers" to read Ps. 119:140 as you do. Furthermore, I suppose you think it a coincidences that those who think they can prefer to include or exclude a particular Greek or Hebrew reading in the text critical process would also say they prefer to read the Bible this way or that way. The point is that people who mess with their own Bible will mess with their own preaching.

In this case, it comes down to "Scholar X prefers to include reading Y." and preachers who ascribe to this pitiful scholarship say "I prefer to preach X because Scholar X preferred to include Y." You see how stupid this sounds. What you prefer to preach is based on a scholar who prefers to include a text. Your preaching is then a preference based on a preferences based on an assumption that the oldest, shortest, and hardest reading is best. So then what you preach is hemmed in by preferences and driven by an assumption. And people wonder why there is no revival and that Independent Baptist movement is falling apart in so many sectors. Look no further than Brother Blumer and those like him and their treatment of Holy Scripture.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
Since I'm not claiming the view with absolute certainty, you may be able to persuade me to take another view.

You keep digging a deeper and deeper hole on this point. So, do you "not claim a view with absolute certainty" on a regular basis? I mean, when you preach or teach are you offering an educated guess to God's people, then wait to see if you can be dissuaded? Faith is not based on preferences or educated guesses. The very fact that you are not claiming with absolute certainty your own position shows that your position is dubious, flawed, and wrong. How do you expect us to believe your understanding is worthy of the certainty of faith if you don't believe it is worthy of the certainty of faith.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Peter wrote:
You have demonstrated no relevance to "very pure" other than quoting a verse that says “thy word is settled in heaven.” What in the context of Ps 119:140 directs the reader to look to Heaven for the purity of God's word?

First, Psalm 119:89 is in the context. It's the same Psalm.
Second, it doesn't have to be in the immediate context to tell us something about David's theology. Regardless of where he says it, when he talks about the word, he is revealing truth about the word and--presumably, his own view as well. So when he says the word is settled forever in heaven in 119:89, we can conclude that David does not see "word" as being limited to written copies on the earth.
That in, turn, introduces a possibility in 119:140.
Because it is possible that David does not mean to limit "word" to written copies in 119:140, the question for you is: what evidence do you have that David is not using "word" comprehensively in 119:140?

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
I've also supported the claim with an argument from how language works: words have multiple possible meanings and readers must decide which is correct/most likely.

This continues to show that you hermeneutic is bankrupt. The above statement is Roman Catholic to the core...

I think anyone who has used a dictionary or lexicon knows that listing possible meanings for words is how they all work--Catholic, Protestant, Atheist, you name it (maybe not Buddhist... once you throw zen in, words get really weird).

Was the guy below using some kind of Roman Catholic hermeneutic?

Peter wrote:
All it says is the word which means "utterance, speech, or word" is very "exceedingly, abundance, muchness" pure "test, to test and prove true".

You listed "utterance, speech or word" as possible meanings of "word" in Ps.119:140. Admittedly, it's hard to see the diff. between "utterance" and "speech" but "word" is definitely a broader meaning, because it can mean speech or writing. But you listed these possible meanings then concluded that it must mean David's written copy only. OK, we have your claim. How about supporting it?

You also listed two possible meanings for "pure." They overlap, but one specifies proving true and the other doesn't. So which is it and why? ...but I guess deciding what words mean is for Catholics.

Peter wrote:
Scripture would mean what it means without a single human reader.

Not in dispute.

Peter wrote:
... the context limits the meaning of a given word, not the reader.

Not in dispute either.
("Context" = immediate + larger context of passage, book, section, and all of Scripture + theological context of everything a given writer reveals on a topic.)

Peter wrote:
My point is this, simply because you prefer to read the Bible as X does not make it right before God whether you are...

Certainly true. This is why I supported my view. I don't believe in arbitrarily looking at verses and saying "I think I would like it to mean A."
By the way, this is also why you need to support your view that David means only his written copy when he says "word" and that he is talking about textual completeness when he says "pure."

Peter wrote:
Simply put, "very pure" does not equal "in Heaven."

Of course. "Word" is the term that points beyond mere copies on earth. "Pure" has to do with the character of that word.

Peter wrote:
.. there is nothing in the Hebrew word for "word" to say that it is specifically speaking of a word in Heaven.

Sigh. Psalm 119:89. But actually, using your definition above ('utterance' etc.) the word does point beyond writings or copies.

Peter wrote:
...every verse of Ps. 119 says something of God’s testimonies, commandments, statues, words, laws etc except two... Do you claim that all of the verses of Ps. 119 are to be filtered through v. 89?

Now there's an argument. The problem, though, is that v.89 is also in the Psalm. Result...
In your view, every reference to word, precept, statue, etc. must mean "my copy" and (somehow) the traditional text. But that fails when you get to v.89.
In my view, every reference to word, precept, statute, etc. refers to something that is not limited to what is written or physical copies. I'm not sure why that's a problem.

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
I believe David's Bible was very pure.

And MSTC does not, therefore MSTC is not bound to Scripture with regard to the purity of Scripture. Yield the point of post #1.

You have not established that "very pure" means "contains every word God originally inspired." Why can't it mean "pure in character, trustworthy"?

Peter wrote:
"Is King David's copy of the Pentateuch very pure according to Ps. 119:140?"
Aaron wrote:
Yes. Everything God has ever communicated or ever will communicate is pure.

MSTC replaces "very pure" with "approximately pure", therefore MSTC is not bound by Scripture. Yield the point of post #1.

I can't speak for the abstraction "MSTC," but neither I nor anyone else I know who is unconvinced of the perfection of the traditional text believes that God's word is approximately pure. We understand that the copies (and texts made from them) are approximately pure. They are pure to the degree they are faithful to the originals.

Peter wrote:
Show us the commentary that "prefers" to read Ps. 119:140 as you do. Furthermore, I suppose you think it a coincidences that those who think they can prefer to include or exclude a particular Greek or Hebrew reading in the text critical process would also say they prefer...

"Prefer" simply means that you look at possible interpretations, weigh evidence, and when the correct interpretation is not 100% certain, you leave some room to learn better later by saying "I prefer the view best supported by the evidence." Everybody who studies the Bible does this, though they may weigh the evidence quite differently.

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
Since I'm not claiming the view with absolute certainty, you may be able to persuade me to take another view.

You keep digging a deeper and deeper hole on this point.

Just inviting you to make a case for your interpretation. I'm open to persuasion. Support your claims.

Peter wrote:
So, do you "not claim a view with absolute certainty" on a regular basis?

Claim it when I have it. Don't when I don't.

Peter wrote:
How do you expect us to believe your understanding is worthy of the certainty of faith if you don't believe it is worthy of the certainty of faith.

What I expect people to do is look at the claims I make and how I support them and see if they find them persuasive. Nothing more.

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.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
The focus of the present discussion is the following:

Presupposition: King David did not have the original Pentateuch with Moses’ figure prints on it, therefore what King David did have was a copy of the Pentateuch (apographa).

Part A: God’s word [a copy ] is pure indeed, very pure because it says it is. (Ps. 119:140)

Part B: Modern text critical theory argues that God’s word [a copy ] is approximately pure. [e.g. W&H ]

Conclusion: Modern text critical theory has replaced “very pure” with “approximately pure” with regard to God’s word and is therefore not bound by Scripture with regard to Scriptural purity.


Emphasis added.

Didn't want this missed in the multitude of words. Peter finally answered one of the questions posed by simply making an assumption. He believes the "word" referenced here is the specific copy David was reading. This dramatically changes the original question as it was posed. Agreeing with Aaron et al., it is clear that this assertion demands convincing argument in support rather than repeated emphasis.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
So when he says the word is settled forever in heaven in 119:89, we can conclude that David does not see "word" as being limited to written copies on the earth.

True, but what you have said above does not exclude my conclusion it merely includes it. That is what I have been trying to get to. What you have yet to prove is that David DOES NOT say his copy is pure according to Ps. 119:140, but rather is EXCLUSIVELY saying Ps. 119:140 in the context of v. 89.

Its not the fact that you have said words have multiple meanings that make your hermeneutic Roman Catholic it is the fact that you wrote that "readers must decide which is correct/most likely." That in the quotes in Roman Catholic.

I wrote,

Quote:
Scripture would mean what it means without a single human reader.

You claim this is not in dispute. Think about it, "readers must decide which is correct/most likely." and "Scripture would mean what it means without a single human reader" are mutually exclusive. The Bible is correct in meaning without a single reader's decision.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
I don't believe in arbitrarily looking at verses and saying "I think I would like it to mean A."

What is the difference between this and "I prefer"?

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
"Word" is the term that points beyond mere copies on earth.

But does it include copies?

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
But actually, using your definition above ('utterance' etc.) the word does point beyond writings or copies.

Except the word in Ps 119:140 is "word" not "utterance". Once again, I have no problem systematizing God's word for a better understanding of a given passage.

My question is, Even with the inclusion of v. 89 does that EXCLUDE copies from being referred to in vs. 140?

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
Why can't it mean "pure in character, trustworthy"?

God's word being free from corruption (i.e. very pure) is trustworthy. The latter is an outworking of the former. Furthermore the word in Scripture is "pure" not "trustworthy". Here is a perfect example of your bankrupt hermeneutic. "Trustworthy" isn't even in the lexicon for (tsaraph) and is not the word in the context, still you prefer it as a viable option. It is simply not there. How am I to dissuade you of things you prefer to imagine?

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
I can't speak for the abstraction "MSTC," but neither I nor anyone else I know who is unconvinced of the perfection of the traditional text believes that God's word is approximately pure.

W&H did hold to approximate purity the work of which Warfield accepted in his work on the Westminster Assembly and Protestant text critical work follows. Thus the point of Post #1 is proven that Modern Scientific [Remember this is Warfield's word ] Textual Criticism [MSTC ] believes in the approximate purity of God's word and David does not, therefore the notion of approximate purity is not bound by Scripture.

Do you believe the notion of approximate purity is bound by Scripture?

Let me put it this way,

Presupposition: The "word" of Ps. 119:140 concerns the written (a copy) and spoken word which David had access to by a copy of the Law and the Prophets (Samuel and Nathan).

Part A: The Hebrew word (tsaraph) meaning "pure" denotes the removal of corruption to the place of purity by fiery trial.
Part B: Only creaturely words are capable of corruption.

Conclusion: Concerning the word of God whether spoken or a written copy (David's Pentateuch), they are free from corruption so that it can be said that David "received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God." (1 Thess 2:13)

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
"Prefer" simply means that you look at possible interpretations, weigh evidence, and when the correct interpretation is not 100% certain, you leave some room to learn better later by saying "I prefer the view best supported by the evidence.

You can't be 100% certain as to what "Thy word is very pure." means? Wow. I reiterate, this sense of uncertainty is the ruin of the Church.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
Just inviting you to make a case for your interpretation. I'm open to persuasion. Support your claims.

You cannot be persuaded. It is impossible by all accounts, because you in all your work have conceded that you are not 100% certain of your own position which is in "opposition" to my position and some how I am going to persuade you of my position when you are not 100% persuaded of your own. This is foolishness. You are asking me to persuade you of my position by dissuading you of your position when you don't hold a position, rather you hold a preference which may be right and it may be wrong by your own account.

You are not open to persuasion because you cannot even persuade yourself by holding to what you "prefer". How can you persuade someone who is not persuaded that his own position is certainly right? The prospect is laughable.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
Claim it when I have it. Don't when I don't.

So do you preach it when you have it and not preach it when you don't? Beside, how on earth do you "claim it when you have it" about any passage in Scripture if the words "Thy word is very pure" escape your ability to "have" with certainty?

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
... we can conclude that David does not see "word" as being limited to written copies on the earth.

True, but what you have said above does not exclude my conclusion it merely includes it. ...What you have yet to prove is that David DOES NOT say his copy is pure according to Ps. 119:140...

As I understand it, your view is that in Psalm 119:140, David is saying his copy of the Scriptures is not missing any words/has no scribal errors (and somehow this also applies to the traditional text). So your view depends on these definitions:
word="David's copy"
pure="no scribal errors"

If "word" means "everything God has ever communicated or ever will communicate," it's possible to make your view work, but it's a poor fit with your idea of "pure" because much of what God has communicated has never been written down anywhere.

So, to be clear, yes, I believe David is including his copy when he says "word" there. But he is including much more than copies as well--and talking about the pure character of all communication that issues from God.

Peter wrote:
Its not the fact that you have said words have multiple meanings that make your hermeneutic Roman Catholic it is the fact that you wrote that "readers must decide which is correct/most likely."

"Decide" does not equal "determine." I'm not saying that readers vest the words with their meaning. I'm saying readers must discover what the words mean. When faced with multiple possibilities they must figure out which meaning is the true one.

"Readers must decide which is correct/most likely" and "Scripture would mean what it means without a single human reader" are not mutually exclusive.

Maybe this helps

  • You have words on paper. They mean what the writer intended.
  • Reader encounters words, is not sure what meaning is intended.
  • Reader must decide/figure out what meaning is intended.
  • Reader evaluates possibilities, decides meaning A is most likely.
  • Reader says he prefers meaning A over the other possibilities.

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
But actually, using your definition above ('utterance' etc.) the word does point beyond writings or copies.
Except the word in Ps 119:140 is "word" not "utterance".

The word there is אמרה. What must be decided is whether it means written word, utterance or something more comprehensive.

Peter wrote:
My question is, Even with the inclusion of v. 89 does that EXCLUDE copies from being referred to in vs. 140?

It doesn't have to exclude. See above.

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
Why can't it mean "pure in character, trustworthy"?

God's word being free from corruption (i.e. very pure) is trustworthy. The latter is an outworking of the former. Furthermore the word in Scripture is "pure" not "trustworthy".

Actually several posts ago, I posted the lexical evidence that צרף ("pure") there has the idea of tested/proven. And you quoted some source to that effect as well.
It does not follow that if scribes made errors in making copies, the copies are therefore not trustworthy and not pure in character.

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
... neither I nor anyone else I know who is unconvinced of the perfection of the traditional text believes that God's word is approximately pure.

W&H did hold to approximate purity the work of which Warfield accepted in his work on ...

You're equivocating with the word "word" here. I seriously doubt that any of these guys thought the word itself is approximately pure in character. What they believed was that copies of the word are approximately pure textually.
The word that exists forever in the mind of our immutable God can never be anything less than entirely pure in every way. The word, in the comprehensive sense that includes our copies remains pure in character. It is holy and trustworthy. The copies are manifestly not "pure" in the sense of having every word exactly right.

Peter wrote:
Do you believe the notion of approximate purity is bound by Scripture?

It's not clear what you mean by "bound," but if you mean "supported by," then yes. I made a case for this in my series on Preservation, that I've linked to several times in this discussion. The Bible teaches that humans are both weak and wicked and prone to error in all they do. It does not teach that this essential trait of our being is nullified when we're making copies of the Bible.

Peter wrote:
Part A: The Hebrew word (tsaraph) meaning "pure" denotes the removal of corruption to the place of purity by fiery trial.
Part B: Only creaturely words are capable of corruption.
Conclusion: Concerning the word of God whether spoken or a written copy (David's Pentateuch), they are free from corruption so that it can be said that David "received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God." (1 Thess 2:13)

First, "pure" cannot mean the removal of corruption in reference to God's words. They are eternally pure in His mind and are pure when they are revealed.
Second, there is no such thing as a "spoken copy." When I say "spoken" I mean things God has said that have not been written. Christ Himself is "word" (John 1:1).
Third, it's true that only creaturely words are capable of corruption. But think this through. It means that whenever an error occurs in copying, the change is creaturely. God's actual words are as immutable as He is (Ps.119:89)
Surely you do not deny faulty manuscripts exist. Say, Vaticanus. How did its errors occur? Did the copyists corrupt God's words? Not really. Their errors introduced human "corruptions" to copies.

Peter wrote:
You cannot be persuaded. It is impossible by all accounts, because you in all your work have conceded that you are not 100% certain of your own position which is in "opposition" to my position and some how I am going to persuade you of my position when you are not 100% persuaded of your own.

People can only be persuaded to change their views if they are 100% convinced of their views? Really?
But let's get this clear: having some uncertainty about "word" and "pure" in Ps.119.140 does not equal "uncertain of my view" as a whole. I am quite certain that we cannot claim the traditional text is 100% word perfect and that this view of the traditional text is Bible doctrine.

Peter wrote:
how on earth do you "claim [certainty ] when you have it" about any passage in Scripture if the words "Thy word is very pure" escape your ability to "have" with certainty?

It's only a problem if you live in a binary universe, where everything must be 100% certain or 100% useless... I don't live in a world like that.
It's quite common in exegetical work to narrow the possible meanings of a word or phrase down to 2 or 3 very strong possibilities. Often a student of the word can settle on one with a great deal of confidence. But often he has to settle for being 100% certain that the phrase means either A or B, but not 100% certain of which. It's not a big problem, because the "point" of a passage is often quite certain and clear even though a term or two remains ambiguous.

If I was preaching Psalm 119:140, I would preach with certainty that God's word is as pure as God Himself. I would certainly not try to make the verse teach that a particular text has no scribal errors.

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

PVK wrote:
Brother Blumer wrote,

Blumer wrote:
So when he says the word is settled forever in heaven in 119:89, we can conclude that David does not see "word" as being limited to written copies on the earth.

True, but what you have said above does not exclude my conclusion it merely includes it. That is what I have been trying to get to. What you have yet to prove is that David DOES NOT say his copy is pure according to Ps. 119:140, but rather is EXCLUSIVELY saying Ps. 119:140 in the context of v. 89.

Its not the fact that you have said words have multiple meanings that make your hermeneutic Roman Catholic it is the fact that you wrote that "readers must decide which is correct/most likely." That in the quotes in Roman Catholic.


Peter,

You are reading FAR too much into what is written or not written in that verse. There is no support whatsoever for what you are trying to make Psalm 119:140 say, and I don't care if you use the KJV or the ESV or any other version. You can only get to your conclusion if you force it into that section of the Psalm.

Furthermore, just because Roman Catholics believe something doesn't make it wrong. They believe that Jesus is part of the Trinity, for example. Muslims believe that there was a real person named Jesus, even though they deny his deity.

"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

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
If "word" means "everything God has ever communicated or ever will communicate," it's possible to make your view work, but it's a poor fit with your idea of "pure" because much of what God has communicated has never been written down anywhere.

The important difference is that Scripture is written and can therefore stand the test of time while the prophecies of Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc that were not written down were pure in the moment. In the case of David's view of Scripture, he by inspiration gives us no hint at all that his Bible contained scribal errors. If David by inspiration did not bring it into the conversation then we should not either.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
"Decide" does not equal "determine." I'm not saying that readers vest the words with their meaning. I'm saying readers must discover what the words mean.

Discover is a much better word, but what would be better is that each saint must agree and submit to the meaning of Scripture which is present before the reader reads. Mere discovery is not enough, agreement by the gift of faith is essential and a preference or a guess cannot be the object of faith.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
  • Reader evaluates possibilities, decides meaning A is most likely.
  • Reader says he prefers meaning A over the other possibilities.

You cannot do this with the Bible. If you do not know what the Bible says then you cannot say what the Bible says. It is better to be silent. Pretending to know what the Bible says, or preferring to know what the Bible says is insufficient to be the object of faith. Thus whatever you say if it is merely based on a preference is not of faith and as such what you say has no authoritative bearing on the people of God.

On the other hand, I know that Ps. 119:140 is speaking of David's Bible and that Bible is pure (i.e. free from human corruptions). You see we are arguing on two different levels. I argue that Ps. 119:140 means David's Bible was pure of human corruptions as an object of faith. You are arguing your preference which is not an object of faith for you because you do not accept you own preference as an object of faith, nor can you because a preference is uncertain and as such you cannot put your faith in the uncertain.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
The word there is אמרה. What must be decided is whether it means written word, utterance or something more comprehensive.

What in the text of Ps. 119:140 removes prophecy, Scripture, or the audible voice of God saying "Samuel, Samuel"? Is God's word spoken through Samuel and more pure than God's word written by Samuel under inspiration or vice versa? No.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
It does not follow that if scribes made errors in making copies, the copies are therefore not trustworthy and not pure in character.

It most certainly does, because the copy is only God's word insofar as it contains God's words much like a tract or commentary. The "What Must I Do To Inherit Eternal Life" tract is not God's word purely because it contains men's words as well. Furthermore the power of the tract is not in the incorporation of men's words, but the power is in the words of God accompanied by the Spirit of God. Getting back to your ancient scribes idea, where there are errors there is corruption, and where there are errors there is no power of the Spirit, therefore there are words in that copy that are not trustworthy.

Let me go a bit further to show this "trustworthy" idea does not work. There are people in the present who deal with "errors" in Scripture nearly every day in our think-tanks and universities. Two things persist: 1.) With the errors we know of we cannot decide how to correct them with certainty, which means the best of the best do not think that what they have chosen as a reading is trustworthy, rather it is the best they can do. 2.) No one has come out and said, "We have found all the errors in the Bible, for certain." As a result, the possibility of errors creeping around in the text still exist which means that the reading you think is certain may be in fact erroneous making an air of untrustworthiness about the Bible. So, if you believe there are errors in the Bible then you believe the Bible is not pure and if it is not pure then you cannot trust it.

Just to refresh you memory W&H wrote these words,

"[O ]n any view many important churches for long ages have had only an approximately pure New Testament, so that we have no right to treat it as antecedently incredible that only an approximately pure New Testament should be attainable now, or even in all future time." (pp. 267-277)

Approximate purity in content ensures approximate purity in "character". "Character" by the way is a terrible word, do you have something more specific. "Character" has primary and secondary substance implications in the modern Baptist mind, which makes the word very imprecise.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
The word, in the comprehensive sense that includes our copies remains pure in character. It is holy and trustworthy. The copies are manifestly not "pure" in the sense of having every word exactly right.

We fundamentally disagree here. You are prepared to name a mingling of holy corruption and a trustworthy error. I cannot.

I wrote,

Quote:
Do you believe the notion of approximate purity is bound by Scripture?

Brother Blumer answered,

Quote:
It's not clear what you mean by "bound," but if you mean "supported by," then yes.

This is momentous. "Supported" is fine. Where in the Bible does Scriptural support exist?

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
The Bible teaches that humans are both weak and wicked and prone to error in all they do. It does not teach that this essential trait of our being is nullified when we're making copies of the Bible.

I agree but what you are apparently unable to accommodate is the leading of the Spirit through His people in accordance with the self-authenticating words of Scripture in spite of the human condition to provide for His Church the words of Scripture that were given to the original writers.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
First, "pure" cannot mean the removal of corruption in reference to God's words. They are eternally pure in His mind and are pure when they are revealed.

I agree with the latter sentence and I was hoping that you would say that. The fact is that David here is treating his copy of the Bible as pure words that came directly from God even though they came from God to Moses generations before David.

It is sad that we are at the place where we can say the words that came from God are pure, but the words we have now are not pure but are still God's words. This is so wrong.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

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Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
Third, it's true that only creaturely words are capable of corruption. But think this through. It means that whenever an error occurs in copying, the change is creaturely. God's actual words are as immutable as He is.

I agree once again that the change is creaturely. But that change cannot be the object of faith. Do you agree with my last sentence?

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
People can only be persuaded to change their views if they are 100% convinced of their views? Really?

Yes. Persuasion when dealing with what the Bible says can only come when you can exercise faith in what the Bible says and you must know for certain what the Bible says in a given passage before you can have faith in it. Unless of course you are prepared to say that you are only 99% convinced of the truth in John 3:16.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
I am quite certain that we cannot claim the traditional text is 100% word perfect and that this view of the traditional text is Bible doctrine.

I agree that you cannot claim the above statements because you can't claim that David said his Bible was pure in the Bible. Furthermore, we are just trying to see if we can agree on a verse. History, dogmatics, philosophy are so out of the picture right now. I dare say the English Text Debate forums cannot go anywhere until we are able to conclude what the Bible says, and apparently we cannot seeing that something as simple as "Thy word is very pure".

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
It's only a problem if you live in a binary universe, where everything must be 100% certain or 100% useless... I don't live in a world like that.

I don't live in a world like that either, but when it comes to the Bible as the revelation of Jesus Christ (The Bible does not merely reveal things about Jesus Christ it reveals Jesus Christ), the Bible is either the object of faith and must therefore be 100% certain or it is not certain and has faith unnaturally foisted upon it.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
If I was preaching Psalm 119:140, I would preach with certainty that God's word is as pure as God Himself.

Nothing is “as pure as God Himself.” But I am not going to go down that road. I have a feeling that since you Bibilology is messed up so also is your Theology Proper. So let’s make a couple modifications.

Are the words of Ps. 119:140 God's word? Yes.
Are the words of Ps. 119:140 as pure as when God first gave them? Yes.
Are the words of the whole Bible as pure as when God first gave them? Yes.
Are the words of the whole Bible at present as pure as when God first gave them? Yes.

To believe otherwise is to believe contrary to what the word of God in the present says about the word of God in the present.

See you think you can have divinely pure ideas without divinely pure words, which is fundamentally in error. The only way the revelation of Jesus Christ is revealed to us is through words (i.e. Scripture) and from those words we get an idea. If we begin the discussion with some of "those words" are in error then it follows that parts of the ideas are in error which leads to some of the revelation Jesus Christ is in error which results in some of what we know about Jesus Christ is in error. Then out of some other motivation you assume that the errors you hold concerning Jesus Christ have nothing to do with salvation. Your only basis for this assumtion is a revelation of Jesus Christ that you confess has a host of errors.

So you look to a revelation of truth and errors to show that the salvation in that revelation is only truth, and you are too blind to see how obsurd this is.

Brother JayC,

1.) All I have said is that David's Bible is not the document on which Moses put pen to paper, therefore it is a copy. That‘s all.
2.) David then says by inspiration that God's word is very pure. There is no aspectual qualifications as to "character", grammar, syntax, form (verba), method, or content (res). It simply says God's word is very pure. The my Bible is without a doubt God's word, I must therefore submit to the Bible and say that it is very pure in all of its aspects ("character", grammar, syntax, form, method, and content). You on the other hand, refuse to submit to God's word because mss evidence tells you to read Ps. 119:140 some other preferred way. In your case, mss evidence trumps a clear reading of Scripture. I don’t factor in scribal error or mss evidence because the Bible does not. Simple as that.

If David said, “Because of copyist errors my Bible is missing some of God’s words and some of man’s words have been added, but my Bible is still pure in ‘character’.” Then I would happily yield to God’s word, but nothing of the sort exists, rather David said “Thy word is very pure.”

Brother JayC wrote,

Quote:
Furthermore, just because Roman Catholics believe something doesn't make it wrong.

I realize this. I wrote a 50+ page paper on the certainty of sacred doctrine primarily out of Aquinas' Summa Theologica. The fact is that Brother Blumer is arguing the pat lines of Roman Catholics as they fought against our forefathers. I encourage you to examine the debate between Bellarmine & Stapleton (Catholic) and William Whitaker (Protestant) and you will see uncanny similarities between Brother Blumer and the Catholic ascription of error toward the Greek and Hebrew. In addition you will see similarities between myself and Whitaker with regard to the preservation and purity of the words of Scripture. The book to read is Disputations on Holy Scripture by William Whitaker (c. 1588).

Like I said many moons ago, the Church has been fighting for a long time what you and Brother Blumer have espoused, it just so happens you have taken the side of those who burned us at the stake.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

To answer the post title question, does prefer to be right mean is right? No. That's why I've supported my claims.

Peter wrote:
In the case of David's view of Scripture, he by inspiration gives us no hint at all that his Bible contained scribal errors. If David by inspiration did not bring it into the conversation then we should not either.

Argument from silence. Sometimes silence is significant. In this case, since humans are both weak and wicked, there is no need to say it. Further, silence on that specific point does not equal denial of the point.

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
  • Reader evaluates possibilities, decides meaning A is most likely.
  • Reader says he prefers meaning A over the other possibilities.


You cannot do this with the Bible. If you do not know what the Bible says then you cannot say what the Bible says. It is better to be silent.

Better chuck all that Turretin then, I guess. Don't ask me to quote where he does it but I'm pretty sure there are places where he says the equivalent of "I'm not sure."
This is a rabbit trail anyway... but there is no reason why a teacher of the Bible cannot say "This passage means A or B. I'm not sure which, but I think A is better. Here's why..."
In fact a teacher who never says this is denying his hearers the opportunity to learn interpretational skills.

Peter wrote:
You are arguing your preference which is not an object of faith for you because you do not accept you own preference as an object of faith, nor can you because a preference is uncertain and as such you cannot put your faith in the uncertain.

Why can't I?

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
The word there is אמרה. What must be decided is whether it means written word, utterance or something more comprehensive.

What in the text of Ps. 119:140 removes prophecy, Scripture, or the audible voice of God saying "Samuel, Samuel"? Is God's word spoken through Samuel and more pure than God's word written by Samuel under inspiration or vice versa? No.

Not in dispute.

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
It does not follow that if scribes made errors in making copies, the copies are therefore not trustworthy and not pure in character.

It most certainly does, because the copy is only God's word insofar as it contains God's words much like a tract or ...
Trustworthiness is not binary. We don't have to trust that every single word is original in order to trust that the whole is God's word.

...we do not deny, nay, we affirm and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English set forth by men of our profession (for we have seen none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God: as the King’s speech which he uttered in Parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian, and Latin, is still the King’s speech, though it be not interpreted by every translator with the like grace, nor peradventure so fitly for phrase, nor so expressly for sense, every where.

Translators to the Reader, 1611 KJV

Peter wrote:
...No one has come out and said, "We have found all the errors in the Bible, for certain." As a result, the possibility of errors creeping around in the text still exist which means that the reading you think is certain may be in fact erroneous making an air of untrustworthiness about the Bible. So, if you believe there are errors in the Bible then you believe the Bible is not pure and if it is not pure then you cannot trust it.

Here, you're confusing how we'd like things to be with how they are. The fact is that the MSS exist in great abundance and all of them differ from one another. We'd all like to be able to say that we have every word as originally inspired, and yes, that would produce a more confident feeling at times, I suppose. But we don't get to say that just because we'd like to.
As for the trust issue, there is not a single doctrine of Scripture that is gained or lost based on an uncertain manuscript variant. Not one.

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
It's not clear what you mean by "bound," but if you mean "supported by," then yes.

This is momentous. "Supported" is fine. Where in the Bible does Scriptural support exist?

Answered that in the next sentence. Which you quoted also...

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
The Bible teaches that humans are both weak and wicked and prone to error in all they do. It does not teach that this essential trait of our being is nullified when we're making copies of the Bible.

I agree but what you are apparently unable to accommodate is the leading of the Spirit through His people...

Ran into this reasoning when debating with Kent Brandenburg a while back. Note the claims here:
1. God's people are not able through the leading of the Spirit to make copies that contain no errors
2. God's people are able through the leading of the Spirit to eliminate all errors when they compile the text
Aside from the fact that the Scriptures do not teach #2 (as I've shown elsewhere), why would the Spirit be able to do #2 and not do #1?
(I suspect that #1 is a point that has been conceded--at times--due to the overwhelming evidence of scribal error. The problem is that #2 is equally problematic in light of similar evidence.)

Peter wrote:
I agree with the latter sentence and I was hoping that you would say that. The fact is that David here is treating his copy of the Bible as pure words that came directly from God even though they came from God to Moses generations before David.

Not in dispute. What's in dispute is whether "pure" means "pure in character" or "containing every word originally inspired."

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:
I agree once again that the change is creaturely. But that change cannot be the object of faith. Do you agree with my last sentence?

It's doubtful that a word all by itself can be said to be "believed." It needs a phrase at the very least. But if I have a paragraph and one word in it is not certain, can the whole paragraph be trusted as true? Certainly. Likewise, for chapters, books and the whole Bible.

Peter wrote:
I dare say the English Text Debate forums cannot go anywhere until we are able to conclude what the Bible says, and apparently we cannot seeing that something as simple as "Thy word is very pure".

I don't see any reason why we can't continue to debate and disagree about what this and many other verses mean.

Peter wrote:
...the Bible is either the object of faith and must therefore be 100% certain or it is not certain and has faith unnaturally foisted upon it.

Not in dispute. You don't have to know you've got every word to know you can trust the whole entirely.

Peter wrote:
Nothing is “as pure as God Himself.” But I am not going to go down that road. I have a feeling that since you Bibliology is messed up so also is your Theology Proper.

Feel as you like. How can anything that emanates from God be less pure than He is? He would have to add impurity to it as it issues forth.
So now you are saying copies of God's word are textually pure but even the original was corrupt in character? I admit, I didn't see that coming.

Peter wrote:
See you think you can have divinely pure ideas without divinely pure words

I don't think I said that.... though actually, depending on your use of "pure" that might be true. You seem to be going with my definition here: pure in character. It is possible to have a pronoun where a noun belongs and still have "divinely pure ideas," yes.

Peter wrote:
...a revelation of Jesus Christ that you confess has a host of errors.
You're kind of ignoring the nature of the errors. It's well known that no doctrine is jeopardized by the uncertain readings.

Peter wrote:
Like I said many moons ago, the Church has been fighting for a long time what you and Brother Blumer have espoused...

You really haven't supported that claim. If your target is "MSTC," the church could not possibly have been fighting until the 19th century. I guess that's "long" to some people. But as it turns out, "the church" has not been fighting that, anyway--though a subset has.

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

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote,

To answer the post title question, does prefer to be right mean is right? No. That's why I've supported my claims.

If your claims are supported then why are they not right rather than preferred to be right?

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote,

Argument from silence. Sometimes silence is significant.

Your hermeneutic once again shows itself very flawed. If the Bible does not say a thing then you say the Bible does not say a thing. You do not say "The Bible says X by not saying X." Or "The Bible speaks of scribal errors by not speaking of scribal errors." This is ridiculous.

The Bible says nothing about alien invasion so is the Bible telling us about alien invasion?

Why can't you put your faith in something that is uncertain? Because the gift of faith can only be exercised in the true God and what He has revealed. This is a fundamental reason why "faith" in the gods of other religions is not faith. There is only one faith, it is the faith given from the triune God, and there is only one object of that faith, the triune God. The only way to know Jesus Christ who is the revelation of the Father is through the leading of the Holy Spirit in God's words. Furthermore, faith is both substance and evidence and as such is not merely a possibility. So the object of faith (the triune God), the exercise of faith (belief in divine revelation), and faith itself are real, substantial, and certain.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote,

Trustworthiness is not binary. We don't have to trust that every single word is original in order to trust that the whole is God's word.

Now what immediately follows in not my idea. It is simply the historical approach to authoritas Scriputrae (the authority of Scripture), which is all in regards to things of the Spirit and therefore transcendent things. The authority of Scripture is based on/derived from the fact that Scripture is inspired. The fact that Scripture is authoritative allows for the notion that Scripture is "trustworthy" (axiopistos) and "trustworthy in itself" (autopistos). So it is the historical approach to have trustworthiness dependent upon authority and authority dependent upon inspiration.

Therefore when dealing with "trustworthy" as an aspect of written divine revelation one must begin with the fact that what is under examination is inspired. If the word(s) is/are inspired then authority follows resulting in trustworthiness. Conversely, if the word(s) is/are not inspired then authority does not follow and as a result neither does trustworthiness. So trustworthiness is binary just as inspiration is binary. A word of Scripture is either inspired or not so also a word of Scripture is trustworthy or not. In sum, a Bible which is admittedly a mixture of inspired words and uninspired words is a mixture of trustworthy and untrustworthy, and is therefore only inspired, authoritative, and trustworthy in part, and to say it is wholly trustworthy while holding that there are untrustworthy parts is literally insane.

I have seen this quote many times from the KJV preface. Enlighten us. What does "meanest" mean pre-1611 in its historical context seeing the English used in the 1611 KJB was older English then the English used by the people of 1611? I would venture a guess you have no idea, still you throw that word around like you know what you are talking about. Of course I could be wrong. I eagerly await your reply.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote,

As for the trust issue, there is not a single doctrine of Scripture that is gained or lost based on an uncertain manuscript variant. Not one.

Let us look at it from this perspective. You believe in a God that did not give 1 John 5:7 by inspiration in history. I believe in a God that did give 1 John 5:7 by inspiration in history. If we were both to write a history book on the acts of God you would come to the place where your God did not give 1 John 5:7 by inspiration and I would write one of a God that did give 1 John 5:7 by inspiration. Now our positions on God's work in history would be very similar but they are not the same. It is in this sense that it becomes evident that we believe in the same God in the 99% and in a different God in the 1%. The question is, Do we believe in the same God? You see, doctrine is at stake when you doubt even a word of Scripture.

God gave by inspiration 1 John 5:7.
God did not give by inspiration 1 John 5:7.

These sentences do not mean the same therefore the same God is not being spoken of in these two sentences. And there is much more. How about the God who gave by inspiration the last 12 verses of the Gospel of Mark vs. the God who did not give by inspiration the last 12 verses of the Gospel of Mark.

So there's 13 verses that my God gave by inspiration that your God did not. Now you are going to say we serve the same God. Laughable.

If you mess with God's revelation then you mess with your understanding of the nature of that God, and still you say no doctrine is at stake.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote,

1. God's people are not able through the leading of the Spirit to make copies that contain no errors
2. God's people are able through the leading of the Spirit to eliminate all errors when they compile the text
Aside from the fact that the Scriptures do not teach #2 (as I've shown elsewhere), why would the Spirit be able to do #2 and not do #1?
(I suspect that #1 is a point that has been conceded--at times--due to the overwhelming evidence of scribal error. The problem is that #2 is equally problematic in light of similar evidence.)

The fundamental problem between 1 and 2 is the process. In #1 the process of avoiding errors is empirical. Look at the ms or have it read to you and copy what you (1 person) read/hear to the new ms. It is that simple. In #2 the process is much different. God through the preacher preaching, and the lay person reading are lead by the Holy Spirit to accept the self-authenticating words of God because they are inspired and therefore authoritative, two things that can only come to a soul by the leading of the Spirit. Other words pastors preach and lay people read are not self-authenticating which demonstrates they are not inspired and authoritative and the Spirit does not lead concerning them. Such words fall out of use in the text. When new "evidence" arises the "scribes" do their job and then the pastors and lay people look at the Bible with the "changes" and by the Spirit working in His people concerning the self-authenticating words accept the changes if they are inspired and authoritative self-authenticating words/changes.

Brother Blumer we would make it so much further as a Church if you would just say that the NKJV (whatever Bible and Greek and Hebrew you read) is the best English Bible and that all others are inferior and should be rejected. But you won't, because you are not certain that the NKJV is the best English Bible and that perhaps there is a better one, and as a result you doubt the certainty of your Bible and then pretend to be certain about what it says.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Once again, may I have a definition of "character"?

"Pure" in Ps. 119:140 has to do with the purity of a refined metal. Take gold for instance, the purity of gold is not spoken of as very pure in character but rather is very pure in substance as gold both in its parts (ounces) and as a whole (bar of gold). How is it that purity in this sense, the sense used by David, merely means in character? No metallurgist would call gold pure in character. If it were impure in its parts or as a whole it would be assigned a level of approximat purity as to gold as being gold with mixture of something non-gold. Furthermore, gold is not simply called pure unless it were so. That is why gold is stamped with its purity which is enumerated as something like .999 Pure. This is approximately pure gold because 1/1000th of the stamped ounce or bar is not gold substantively because some other non-gold additive is present. To say this is 100% gold is a lie. It is this sense that David means pure given the word he offers by inspiration.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote,

It's doubtful that a word all by itself can be said to be "believed."

Only to someone who thinks the words of Scripture are of the same power and substance of the words of men, and therefore either both or neither are self-authenticating.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote,

I don't see any reason why we can't continue to debate and disagree about what this and many other verses mean.

Scripture is the foundation of the argument. Of course we can continue to debate, but no agreement on the meaning of the foundation of faith and theology (Holy Scripture) ensures that there will be no resolution to any discussion now or hereafter.

Quote:
I wrote,

...the Bible is either the object of faith and must therefore be 100% certain or it is not certain and has faith unnaturally foisted upon it.

Brother Blumer responded,

Not in dispute. You don't have to know you've got every word to know you can trust the whole entirely.

You cannot trust the whole if the whole is not trustworthy (i.e. not inspired therefore not authoritative).

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote,

How can anything that emanates from God be less pure than He is?

Was Adam or Lucifer as pure as God Himself seeing they "emanated" from God as all created things were in the beginning of time? The necessity to ask this question shows your Theology Proper is severely broken.

Be careful using "emanate" outside of these forums because it is a philosophical buzz word of Plotinus and the Gnostics which leads to pantheism or panentheism. God did not emanate. Without necessity God spoke into existence things out of nothing into created space (ad extra) and continues to providentially preserve and govern all of those things by being in their presence while remaining ase. "Emanation" in theological discourse demands necessity, largely ignores speaking, and often denies aseity. "Emanation" is an extremely poor choice of wording, but given that your Bibliology is shot I expect no less from someone whose Theology Proper seems to follow suit.

Quote:
Continuing in his poor understanding of Theology Proper Brother Blumer wrote,

So now you are saying copies of God's word are textually pure but even the original was corrupt in character?

God's word in the autograph and apographa are pure in content, substance, form, grammar, syntax, and meaning, but that does not make them "as pure as God Himself". God is Pure, the Source and Norm of purity. Holy Scripture is not the Source and Norm of purity. It is the revelation of Jesus Christ the Son of God who is the Source and Norm of purity for He is Pure. Huge difference. To say everything that emanates for God is "as pure as God Himself" it to say all things created are the Source and Norm of purity which God is. Still, this languages does ties in with your use of emanation that leads to panthesim. Do I think you are pantheist, No, but if someone were to read this 1,000 years from now they would know there was one guy who held that his Bible has no errors and that there was a guy who at least sounded like pantheist while being a Baptist at the same time. You are simply not careful, so to say your Theology Proper is broken is by no means a stretch.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote,

It is possible to have a pronoun where a noun belongs and still have "divinely pure ideas," yes.

No, because "I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they, us, you, them" is not the same word as nor does it communicate the same idea as "Moses, prophet, or Brother Blumer". Furthermore to say that it is ok to read "he" instead of "Moses" when God said "Moses" is wrong and to tell God what He said, rather than God telling you is a perversion.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote,

It's well known that no doctrine is jeopardized by the uncertain readings.

Not historically, Turretin wrote,

"For since nothing false can be an object of faith, how could the Scriptures be held as authentic (Mine: authoritative) and reckoned divine if liable to contradictions and corruptions? Nor can it be said that these corruptions are only in smaller things which do not affect the foundation of faith (Mine: You, Brother Blumer, would insert "doctrine" here)...if corruption is admitted in those of lesser importance, why not in others of greater?" Vol. 1 p. 71

It is not well known. The above was the position of the believing community until the mid-1800's. You simply do not know what you are talking about when you say "It's well known that no doctrine is jeopardized..."

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote,

You really haven't supported that claim. If your target is "MSTC," the church could not possibly have been fighting until the 19th century.

My point in saying this was that in 1588 Whitaker was fighting against the Roman Catholic Church on issues of the perfection, perspicuity, and authority of the Greek and Hebrew apographa. Whitaker maintained that the Greek and Hebrew apographa was indeed exactly the word of God given to the original writers. Bellarmine and Stapleton argued that the Greek and Hebrew apographa was not the word of God of the original writers, which is in essence what you have been arguing. So the Church has been fighting what you and others have been proposing for centuries and longer.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
...does prefer to be right mean is right? No. That's why I've supported my claims.

If your claims are supported then why are they not right rather than preferred to be right?

By support I mean "reasons to believe X is true." The result does not have to be 100% certain.

Peter wrote:
"The Bible speaks of scribal errors by not speaking of scribal errors." This is ridiculous.

That's actually your position... that the Bible speaks of scribal/"believing community' perfection by not speaking of scribal/"believing community" perfection. On the other hand, the Bible does teach that human beings are both weak and wicked and prone to error in all they do. I am not arguing from silence.

Peter wrote:
Why can't you put your faith in something that is uncertain? Because the gift of faith can only be exercised in the true God and what He has revealed. This is a fundamental reason why "faith" in the gods of other religions is not faith. There is only one faith, it is the faith given from the triune God...

I don't think this is in dispute. That is, my view is that "faith" in the Christian sense is a response to what God has said. But when it is not entirely clear what God has said, we have a less confident faith. Again, I don't see where the Bible teaches that faith can only exist in two values: 100% or 0%. Many passages speak of increasing faith, which requires something more than 0% but less than 100%. (Luke 17.5, 2Cor.10.15)

Peter wrote:
The authority of Scripture is based on/derived from the fact that Scripture is inspired. The fact that Scripture is authoritative allows for the notion that Scripture is "trustworthy" (axiopistos) and "trustworthy in itself" (autopistos)....
if the word(s) is/are not inspired then authority does not follow and as a result neither does trustworthiness. So trustworthiness is binary just as inspiration is binary. A word of Scripture is either inspired or not so also a word of Scripture is trustworthy or not.

On a word by word level, of course, each word is either the one God inspired or it isn't. Binary. And it's authority likewise. My point was that you do not have to know you have every word right to know that the whole is trustworthy.
As an analogy, I do not have to believe my office chair is in perfect condition to know I can rest my weight on it. It once was in perfect condition--and the design of the chair is perfect, but my version isn't anymore, due to its exposure to... me. Still, it holds me up extremely well and I don't worry at all about its trustworthiness to do that.

Peter wrote:
I have seen this quote many times from the KJV preface. Enlighten us. What does "meanest" mean pre-1611 in its historical context seeing the English used in the 1611 KJB was older English then the English used by the people of 1611? I would venture a guess you have no idea, still you throw that word around like you know what you are talking about. Of course I could be wrong. I eagerly await your reply.

"Mean" means common, ordinary or in some cases, of low quality.

Peter wrote:
Let us look at it from this perspective. You believe in a God that did not give 1 John 5:7 by inspiration in history...

Actually, I'm not yet certain one way or the other on that passage.
Peter wrote:
... I believe in a God that did give 1 John 5:7 by inspiration in history. If we were both to write a history book on the acts of God you would come to the place where your God did not give 1 John 5:7 by inspiration and I would write one of a God that did give 1 John 5:7 by inspiration. Now our positions on God's work in history would be very similar but they are not the same. It is in this sense that it becomes evident that we believe in the same God in the 99% and in a different God in the 1%. The question is, Do we believe in the same God? You see, doctrine is at stake when you doubt even a word of Scripture.

So, just so I'm clear, your argument here is that if two people have any difference in belief about what God has revealed, they believe in two different Gods?

Peter wrote:

God gave by inspiration 1 John 5:7.
God did not give by inspiration 1 John 5:7.
These sentences do not mean the same therefore the same God is not being spoken of in these two sentences. And there is much more. How about the God who gave by inspiration the last 12 verses of the Gospel of Mark vs. the God who did not give by inspiration the last 12 verses of the Gospel of Mark.

Tell you what, show me a major creed of the church that identifies a "doctrine of God giving 1 John 5:7" and a "doctrine God giving the last 12 verses of Mark" and I'll concede the point.

Peter wrote:
If you mess with God's revelation then you mess with your understanding of the nature of that God, and still you say no doctrine is at stake.

You've failed to show how any doctrine of the Christian faith is lost or jeopardized by the passages in question. And the arguments you've used really don't help the traditional text position either. The fact remains that the manuscripts differ and there is no biblical evidence that any group of people has the ability to produce an error free text from them.

Peter wrote:
God through the preacher preaching, and the lay person reading are lead by the Holy Spirit to accept the self-authenticating words of God because they are inspired and therefore authoritative, two things that can only come to a soul by the leading of the Spirit. Other words pastors preach and lay people read are not self-authenticating which demonstrates they are not inspired and authoritative and the Spirit does not lead concerning them.

How exactly would a preacher preaching etc. result in a human being--or group--looking at two MSS, knowing whether a phrase should read "Christ gave" or "he gave"? How would "He" or "Christ" "self authenticate"?

Peter wrote:
Such words fall out of use in the text. When new "evidence" arises the "scribes" do their job and then the pastors and lay people look at the Bible with the "changes" and by the Spirit working in His people concerning the self-authenticating words accept the changes if they are inspired and authoritative self-authenticating words/changes.

Two things: (a) the Bible does not teach anywhere that this happens and (b) it doesn't make sense. While this process is going on, even if it only takes days, the people would not have a text they are not certain is word perfect... and all your arguments on the necessity of total certainty for every word defeat your own position.

Peter wrote:
.... and as a result you doubt the certainty of your Bible and then pretend to be certain about what it says.
I do not have to believe I have a perfect translation to believe I know what the Bible teaches.
Of course, not all teachings are equally clear, and this is the case in any translation--including the KJV. It doesn't follow that if I'm less than 100% certain of any particular teaching, then I'm 0% certain I have the word of God and know what it teaches.

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:
Once again, may I have a definition of "character"?

An ordinary dictionary definition should do... here's one:
"the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing"

Peter wrote:
How is it that purity in this sense, the sense used by David, merely means in character? No metallurgist would call gold pure in character.

The Scriptures are not metal. The term is used figuratively. But a better question is "How is it that purity in this sense... merely means 'a copy containing every word originally inspired'"?

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
It's doubtful that a word all by itself can be said to be "believed."

Only to someone who thinks the words of Scripture are of the same power and substance of the words of men, and therefore either both or neither are self-authenticating.

OK... I'll bite. Do you believe this word? The.

Peter wrote:
You cannot trust the whole if the whole is not trustworthy (i.e. not inspired therefore not authoritative).

Already answered.

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
How can anything that emanates from God be less pure than He is?

Was Adam or Lucifer as pure as God Himself seeing they "emanated" from God as all created things were in the beginning of time? The necessity to ask this question shows your Theology Proper is severely broken.

To answer the question yes, they were. Then they fell.
Now if we're talking about holiness, it's probably accurate to say that anything that is not God is less holy than God... because His holiness is His "apartness." Whether that applies to His word, I'm not so sure. Because the word exists in His mind. It is, arguably "part of" Him.
I'd be interested in seeing what the theologies say on the point... though it's a huge rabbit trail as far as this debate goes.

But if we're talking about righteousness, yes, Adam and Lucifer were created righteous.

So tell me, how would word coming from God become less pure than He is? Where would its impurity come from?
It's surreal that I'm defending the purity of the Word in a debate with a guy who believes there's a perfect text. How can there be a perfect text if the word inspires is not as pure as He is? If it is less pure than He is, it is not 100% pure... and, in your reasoning, that makes it 0% trustworthy.

Peter wrote:
"Emanation" is an extremely poor choice of wording, but given that your Bibliology is shot I expect no less from someone whose Theology Proper seems to follow suit.

Biggrin I'm pretty sure the Gnostics used the word "spirit" quite a lot, too!

Peter wrote:
...one were to read this 1,000 years from now they would know there was one guy who held that his Bible has no errors and that there was a guy who at least sounded like pantheist while being a Baptist at the same time. You are simply not careful, so to say your Theology Proper is broken is by no means a stretch.

If you say so.

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
It is possible to have a pronoun where a noun belongs and still have "divinely pure ideas," yes.

No, because "I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they, us, you, them" is not the same word as nor does it communicate the same idea as "Moses, prophet, or Brother Blumer". Furthermore to say that it is ok to read "he" instead of "Moses" when God said "Moses" is wrong and to tell God what He said, rather than God telling you is a perversion.

Actually, a pronoun stands in for its antecedent and there is no essential difference in meaning. There is a slight difference in effect when it's read. If you replace "Christ" with "He" and "Him" enough times, you have a bit of a different impact. But the meaning is identical.

Consider a less emotionally loaded example:

  • My dog is black. My dog is friendly.
  • My dog is black. It is friendly.

These sentences do not differ in meaning. "It" means "my dog."
But I think we're losing sight of the point here. The point is that it is possible to understand what is being taught without being completely certain of every word.

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
It's well known that no doctrine is jeopardized by the uncertain readings.

Not historically, Turretin wrote,
"For since nothing false can be an object of faith, how could the Scriptures be held as authentic (Mine: authoritative) and reckoned divine if liable to contradictions and corruptions? Nor can it be said that these corruptions are only in smaller things which do not affect the foundation of faith (Mine: You, Brother Blumer, would insert "doctrine" here)...if corruption is admitted in those of lesser importance, why not in others of greater?" Vol. 1 p. 71

Well, we need to do a little interpretation of Turretin here, I think.

  • Is he saying it's impossible to corrupt the Scriptures in how we handle them? Peter would disagree 2 Pet.3:16.
  • Or is he saying the Scriptures themselves (in contrast to what people do with them) are immutable and therefore worthy of faith?

Tell me what you think he means and I'll work with that.

It is certainly not clear that he is saying "The differences in MS jeopardize whole doctrines."

Peter wrote:
My point in saying this was that in 1588 Whitaker was fighting against the Roman Catholic Church on issues of the perfection, perspicuity, and authority of the Greek and Hebrew apographa. Whitaker maintained that the Greek and Hebrew apographa was indeed exactly the word of God given to the original writers. Bellarmine and Stapleton argued that the Greek and Hebrew apographa was not the word of God of the original writers, which is in essence what you have been arguing. So the Church has been fighting what you and others have been proposing for centuries and longer.

Well, that's interesting I guess... but I don't think anybody is saying the apographa are not the word of God etc. We're just saying that the copies have some errors in them... which you yourself have acknowledged, so I'm not sure what the point is.

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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