Modern Scientific Textual Criticism - Bound or Independent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Aaron Blumer's picture

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DavidO wrote:
I suggest this be pursued in a limited format between brothers Van Kleeck and Blumer, a la the Brandenburg/Turk debate. I'd like to see definite answers to questions on both sides but with word limits and rules.

Just a thought.


Not a bad idea, David. A week ago I would have been quite open to it. At this point, less interested... maybe because I get the feeling I've heard everything Peter's got on the topic. But maybe it has more to do with the head cold that's making me want to just curl up with some soup and watch TV!

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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Peter wrote:
...Finally, for the OP, I find you guys are horrible at following my directions for discussion. Take some time my brothers, grow a summary, and share it with us. It seems the best place to start would be the wikipedia, ask Brother Blumer.

Already answered the OP... about 150 posts ago. But I don't mind repeating it, since the answer is simple.

Believers who are involved in textual work (eclectic or otherwise) are,
a. in the believing community
b. open to the influence of the Spirit
c. under the Lordship of Christ

Their work is, therefore, "bound."
I add,
d. there is nothing in scientific method itself that in any way alters a-c.

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

Jay's picture

I'd actually expand on that...

Aaron wrote:
Believers who are involved in textual work (eclectic or otherwise) are,
a. in the believing community
b. open to the influence of the Spirit
c. under the Lordship of Christ

All people are open to the influence of the Spirit and under the Lordship of Christ, whether they acknowledge it or not...Believers more so that unbelievers. If you read in the OT, there are plenty of examples of God using unbelievers to accomplish His Will. Does not Isaiah say:

Isaiah 53:10-12 wrote:
Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Yet Judas, the Pharisees/Sadducees, and the Romans are the ones who put Jesus to death.

There are plenty of other examples as well, most notably Isaiah's prophecy regarding Cyrus (Isaiah 44:28, 45:1; Ezra 1).

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

Aaron Blumer's picture

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My point on Lordship is that believers willingly seek the will of their Lord and obey it, whether they eat, drink or whatever they do. So their work is "bound" whether it's textual criticism or plumbing.

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,

Being less Christian is impossible. You either are one or are not. Obedience to what Scripture says about itself is another story. You guys disparage the archaisms of the KJB because you say it is hard for the people of God to understand them, then you go on to say the reason why you site the wikipedia is so that you can make things easy for everyone, and then to top it all off you use an archaism [meanest ] to make your point which is by the modern definition not easy for God's people to understand. Hmmm...

Brother JayC,

I'm glad you read Turretin, it is an invaluable resource. I too read him when I took a 3 credit [17 week ] post-graduate class on Francis Turretin and specifically on vol. 1 at Westminster Theological Seminary while I was still in graduate school.

I realize this is a discussion board, but we are speaking about some intricate and complex theology elements, not how to make an egg soufflé. Theology is not just something you do in your spare time or on the weekends. Theology is something you live with all you heart, soul, mind, and spirit. Therefore, if I offer a summary then it is not unreasonable to ask those that oppose me to match the amount of work I have offered with all their heart, soul, mind, and spirit. Furthermore my summary is hardly a tome, rather I believe your standards for theological discussion are low and I am attempting to raise them. My standards for theological discussion need to be sharpened as well which is why I have returned to SI, because I know there are guys here that have clearly diverged from the tradition and like to fight.

I cannot count how many times Brother Blumer pressed Brother Pittman for definitions, so I offer definitions from a Latin and Greek Dictionary plus commentary and then I get accused of a logical fallacy linked from wikipedia. [There is a point my brother Michael reminded me of last night. The wikipedia is open to public contribution. That is, you can write on the wikipedia in defense of your position and then link to the wikipedia in attempt to support yourself by citing yourself. This is why the wikipedia is a bogus source. Don't use it. ] So I can follow you guys wherever you want to go with your questions or I can present a summary of my position but either way I’m either hiding in a shroud of ambiguity or committing a logical fallacy for being too thorough. You guys are impossible.

If you don't like my rules then don't engage. It's that simple. No one is forcing you to comment. In fact, before I posted the OP, this board had not seen action in 6 months. You left it alone then and you can do so now. I don't see the problem. What I find curious about your statement Brother JayC is that Brother Blumer has continually demanded definitions, summations, clarifications, identification, etc and you have said nothing to him like, "Hey, Brother Pittman and Brother Van Kleeck can 'jump in and out...as they see fit'. Leave them alone." No, instead the heretic card started to get waved around and you sat by and watched.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Aaron Blumer's picture

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Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
Brother Blumer,
Being less Christian is impossible. You either are one or are not. Obedience to what Scripture says about itself is another story. You guys disparage the archaisms of the KJB because you say it is hard for the people of God to understand them, then you go on to say the reason why you site the wikipedia is so that you can make things easy for everyone, and then to top it all off you use an archaism [meanest ] to make your point which is by the modern definition not easy for God's people to understand. Hmmm...

Where did I say anything about "less Christian" or archaisms in the KJV?

Peter wrote:
I realize this is a discussion board, but we are speaking about some intricate and complex theology elements, not how to make an egg soufflé. Theology is not just something you do in your spare time or on the weekends. Theology is something you live with all you heart, soul, mind, and spirit.

Not in dispute.

Peter wrote:
Therefore, if I offer a summary then it is not unreasonable to ask those that oppose me to match the amount of work I have offered with all their heart, soul, mind, and spirit.

How do you know we haven't matched it? How do you measure heart, soul, mind and spirit?
But this is irrelevant in any case. Whether a position is true or not has nothing to do with the amount of thought and/or heart and/or spirit put into it. It's truth has to be supported by experience or authority or reasoning--or some combination. (If it's going to persuade anyone).
In this case, the persuasive experience is not really going to be who has the most experience in theology. It would have to be experience directly connected to the thesis. But this issue really is a question of authority, specifically, biblical authority. What does the Bible actually teach? None of the other factors are decisive.

Peter wrote:
Furthermore my summary is hardly a tome, rather I believe your standards for theological discussion are low and I am attempting to raise them. My standards for theological discussion need to be sharpened as well which is why I have returned to SI, because I know there are guys here that have clearly diverged from the tradition and like to fight.

Peter, whether you raise our theological standards or not--or whether they are low or not--is not relevant to the questions at hand.

Peter wrote:
I cannot count how many times Brother Blumer pressed Brother Pittman for definitions, so I offer definitions from a Latin and Greek Dictionary plus commentary and then I get accused of a logical fallacy linked from wikipedia. [There is a point my brother Michael reminded me of last night. The wikipedia is open to public contribution. That is, you can write on the wikipedia in defense of your position and then link to the wikipedia in attempt to support yourself by citing yourself. This is why the wikipedia is a bogus source. Don't use it. ]

First, I asked Roland for particular definitions to particular terms. They were English terms, and they were terms that appear in the expressions of his (and your) position. I wasn't asking for definitions of just anything that anybody might find interesting. I simply wanted to avoid refuting a position that is not really your position. So the reason for definitions is to get clear what it is that I'm answering before I answer it.
(And also to make equivocation more difficult... and in my experience this position relies heavily on equivocation)

Second, would you feel better about the use of wikipedia for general reference if I pasted in some text from hard copy books that say wikipedia is, on average, as reliable as Britannica? (I have at least two college level books on research paper writing that say this)
But again, this is distraction. I didn't use wikipedia as proof for anything. I characterized a fallacy for what it is and linked to a handy place to find a simple definition of the term.
If you google "argumentum verbosium" you'll find lots of other sources, if that helps at all.
But it works just as well for me to call it "the fallacy of substituting a boatload of words in place of an actual argument." So dispense w/wikipedia if you like. It changes nothing.

Peter wrote:
So I can follow you guys wherever you want to go with your questions or I can present a summary of my position but either way I’m either hiding in a shroud of ambiguity or committing a logical fallacy for being too thorough. You guys are impossible.

We moved past the ambiguity problem quite a few posts ago. You were clear enough for me to present a pile of counterarguments which you ignored... and then you returned to obscurity.

Peter wrote:
If you don't like my rules then don't engage. It's that simple. No one is forcing you to comment.

I have no objection to your rules at all. And I don't mind commenting and pointing out the fallacies either.

Peter wrote:
In fact, before I posted the OP, this board had not seen action in 6 months.

I think you mean the English Text Debate forum in particular. Yes, most of us find the topic pretty tedious most of the time. I usually have to take several months off before I can get interested again. But I have given all the related topics a good bit of thought over the years and it's nice to come back to it once in a while.
Besides, Kent Brandenburg pretty much dared us to answer and said we couldn't handle the power of your argument. How could I resist that?

Peter wrote:
You left it alone then and you can do so now. I don't see the problem.

You issued a challenge. Are you saying you wish we hadn't taken you up on it?

Peter wrote:
What I find curious about your statement Brother JayC is that Brother Blumer has continually demanded definitions, summations, clarifications, identification, etc and you have said nothing to him like, "Hey, Brother Pittman and Brother Van Kleeck can 'jump in and out...as they see fit'. Leave them alone." No, instead the heretic card started to get waved around and you sat by and watched.

I'm not sure what Jay was getting at there. Not my approach. He's welcome to his.
The heresy (not "heretic") card got waved because heresy-tinged stuff was posted. I'm not going to apologize for that.
But again, you're kind of saying "Hey, look over there!!" Rather than giving the ideas of the OP--or the counterarguments--close scrutiny.

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

Larry's picture

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Quote:
You demand a yes or no for your complex question. You will not get one. Don't ask again, because you will not get one. You question demands several propositions which I have offered.
Again, perhaps there is some confusion. The question is, "Do you believe the doctrine of hell is revealed in the same was as your doctrine of the 'sacred text'?" In what possible world is that complex? There is no prior question or answer being assumed or presupposed that hasn't been stipulated. It is based directly on what you said previously. It doesn't require more than "Yes it is the same" or "No it isn't the same."

For those not following this, a "complex question" is generally defined as a question in which there is an question and answer presupposed. For instance, "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?" is complex because there was a prior assumed question (Did you ever beat your wife?) and a prior assumed answer (Yes). Therefore, the question of stopping is valid. In this case, there is no prior assumption. Earlier in this thread, PVKJr linked the denial of hell to the denial of his position on the sacred text. It was a bit of an abstruse section, so I am asking for clarification on this point.

Truth be told, PVKJr could have said "No, it's a different type of issue." And it is. I don't have a real problem with the means by which he gets to his position on the sacred text (means of deduction) though I think his argument is clearly inadequate to deal with both the revelation of Scripture and the evident providence of God in history. The problem is that he invoked a sort of poisoning the well with the hell analogy. And then he has so far refused to clear it up.

Peter, I can't help but wonder if your resistance to give an answer is due to the bind that you see yourself in. If you admit that they are not revealed the same, the whole line of argumentation goes out the window. You know that the doctrine of hell is clearly revealed, and you know that your doctrine of the sacred text is not. That's why you have quoted no Scripture identifying the "sacred text," or the principles used to get it. You are operating in a world of second premises, speculations, and guesses. You quote Turretin rather than Paul, Muller rather than Peter.

I imagine that is the reason there is no answer to most of the other questions I have asked such as back in post #4. You immediately see what a bind it puts you in. It seems hard to defend your position, but maybe that's just because I don't know the answers. And you certainly are not willing to instruct me so that I can learn the answers. Unfortunate.

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Brother Larry

You changed the question in post 187 from your original question. You original question was complex because to type "TR/KJV" demands that each be treated according to verba and res. So I can't just say yes, I agree or no, I don't. To do so would be elementary at least and reckless at most.

Brother Blumer wrote

Quote:
why should the authority of some outside sources be weightier than Scripture & reasoning?

You wrote this under my First Challenge topic post #7. This statement is indicative of why you hold to the modern form of textual criticism and its conclusions. But I'm going to come back to it. Let us first examine a couple examples the paradigm of the above quote produces.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
I wasn't asking for definitions of just anything that anybody might find interesting.

Your inference toward certain foundational elements of historic Bibliology as presented in my summary as "just anything that anybody might find interesting" demonstrates how far Scripture + reasoning gets you.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
wikipedia is, on average, as reliable as Britannica

Your insistence upon poor sources to formulate a theological or philosophical case is demonstrative of how far Scripture + reason gets you.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
But I have given all the related topics a good bit of thought over the years and it's nice to come back to it once in a while.

You reference to "a good bit of thought over the years" tells us how far Scripture and reason get you.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
The heresy (not "heretic") card got waved because heresy-tinged stuff was posted.

Based on your "good bit of thought over the years" you quote poor sources or no sources at all ultimately accusing the presentation of foundational material with regard to historic Bibliology as a logical fallacy. Welcome to the product of Scripture + reason.

You see Brother Blumer, often theology is not what you think but how you think. This distinction is yet another reason why you and your colleagues will never be persuaded of the Standard Sacred Text position unless you change.

You see it took almost 2000 years for the God's people to formulate the 10 major doctrines of the Christian faith. Each generation building of the one before it for over 100 generations until we have the Bibliology that I am proposing. You on the other hand look at the transgenerational work and call it "just anything that anybody might find interesting". In its place you have put the wikipedia and the fact that you have given this topic "a good bit of thought over the years".

Your "good bit of thought" represents only 1 generation of over 100 and "your good bit of thought" does not agree with what has gone before in Christian Bibliology. Your position on Bibliology does not build on the generations before. No, your position is founded on a new foundation of uncertainty, quasi-authority, consensus, and "oldest, shortest, hardest". I have challenged you to demonstrate you consistency with the tradition, but you can't. Still you speak of "heresy-tinged" ideas, which in itself is unhistorical. (X) is either heretical or it is not.

You have in essence ignored the tradition and when you are faced with the tradition you cry "logical fallacy".

You and "your good bit of thought" are to replace thousands of years of thought. You propose Scripture+reason, as if the believing community has not already dealt with the "difficulties" you propose, as if the believing community had not already answered your questions generations ago, as if believing community encountered a problem so new and unique that it is now ok to say on a Baptist blog, "No, we cannot be certain that every word in our Bible is God's word." Please. There is no new thing under the sun. Satan has been trying to corrupt God's words and get God's people to doubt God's words since the garden. God's people have been dealing with this garbage for thousands of years. It is old hat for us.

The major change now is that God's people agree that God's word is corrupted and needs to be restored. Furthermore, certain texts should be doubted because there isn't enough manuscript evidence to support them.

I have been called a schismatic on these forums in the past, but the fact is the Standard Sacred Text position is the historical one and the one to which you hold Brother Blumer is a new contrivance mixed with old terminology. My profs at Westminster and Calvin knew it. My Dad’s profs at GRBBC, Westminster, and Calvin knew it and some of them admitted as much, but they desired progress over tradition. Brother Blumer is neither on the side of progess nor tradition, and the sad thing is, he doesn’t even know it.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Aaron Blumer's picture

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Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
Why should the authority of some outside sources be weightier than Scripture & reasoning?

You didn't really answer this question.
Is there some authority higher than Scripture? The "and reasoning" part is unavoidable. There is no thoughtful reading without reasoning (otherwise, we're just scanning random words into our brains).
So if there is a higher authority than Scripture+ reasoning, then there must be a higher authority than Scripture. Do tell what that higher authority would be.

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
I wasn't asking for definitions of just anything that anybody might find interesting.

Your inference toward certain foundational elements of historic Bibliology as presented in my summary as "just anything that anybody might find interesting" demonstrates how far Scripture + reasoning gets you.

Peter, we were having a discussion about whether the traditional text is superior based on certain arguments. Though "foundational elements of historic Bibliology" are not "just anything," much of what you posted is pretty random in relation to the question at hand and is not in dispute by either side of the debate.

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
wikipedia is, on average, as reliable as Britannica

Your insistence upon poor sources to formulate a theological or philosophical case is demonstrative of how far Scripture + reason gets you.

Disingenuous. I already pointed out that I was not using wikipedia to formulate anything. I pointed out a logical fallacy and linked to wikipedia as the most accessible place to read a little about that particular fallacy.
Nothing more.

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
But I have given all the related topics a good bit of thought over the years and it's nice to come back to it once in a while.

You reference to "a good bit of thought over the years" tells us how far Scripture and reason get you.

Yes, it does.... sort of. I anticipate more years getting me further still.

Peter wrote:
... you quote poor sources or no sources at all ultimately accusing the presentation of foundational material with regard to historic Bibliology as a logical fallacy. Welcome to the product of Scripture + reason.

Information cannot be "logical fallacy." The use of information in a particular argument is what may or may not constitute a fallacy. Your use of a bulk of material mostly irrelevant to the question is a fallacy, not the material itself.

Peter wrote:
You see Brother Blumer, often theology is not what you think but how you think. This distinction is yet another reason why you and your colleagues will never be persuaded of the Standard Sacred Text position unless you change.

If reading Scripture and reasoning from it is not how I should think, I'm curious, what would be better?

Peter wrote:
You on the other hand look at the transgenerational work and call it "just anything that anybody might find interesting". In its place you have put the wikipedia and the fact that you have given this topic "a good bit of thought over the years".

Already sufficiently answered I think.

Peter wrote:
Your "good bit of thought" represents only 1 generation of over 100....

No, pretty sure the Bible is older than that--the "good bit of thought" has had much Scripture in it.
Let me pose a question here: how many outside sources and centuries of interpretational history must a person read in order to believe the gospel and be saved?
I assume your answer is "zero."
That means you accept the following premise:

Some of Scripture may be understood without outside sources and centuries of historical theology.

So which parts may be understood in this way and which parts may not?
I suspect we're not going to nail down really precise boundaries on that. Wouldn't expect to. So, to narrow it, which of the verses I quoted and interpreted in my Preservation series of articles require outside sources/historical theology to be understood?
Why do those verses (assuming there are any in that category) require outside support but the verses that teach the gospel do not?

My view is that the passages involved are quite clear. In most cases the grammar is pretty simple, the context is clear, the possibilities for interpretation are readily identified, etc.

Peter wrote:
You and "your good bit of thought" are to replace thousands of years of thought.
If you actually had "thousands of years of thought" saying that the truly godly Christians will maintain a perfect text you'd have more of a point. But you don't have that.
And the historical theology argument is the weakest of the lot, anyway.
I don't think many readers are going to believe that in a clash between historical theology vs. clear Scripture + simple reasoning, historical theology carries more weight. (We have a few that might lean that way, but not many).
The reason is that if we maintain that Scripture is highest authority, sola scriptura, we must also believe that historical theology must be corrected by Scripture itself (and, yes, reasoning) on an ongoing basis.

Peter wrote:
You propose Scripture+reason, as if the believing community has not already dealt with the "difficulties" you propose, as if the believing community had not already answered your questions generations ago... It is old hat for us.

There was really no traditional text question until thousands of manuscripts were discovered and cataloged showing how much the MSS differ from one another. This is a fairly new question, as such.
But no, the need to compare MSS and judge the best reading is not a new challenge. You're right about that much. The idea that thought (as opposed to intuitive guidance from the Spirit) has to go into deciding which MSS are correct is also not a new idea. Even Augustine implied it.

Peter wrote:
The major change now is that God's people agree that God's word is corrupted and needs to be restored. Furthermore, certain texts should be doubted because there isn't enough manuscript evidence to support them.

No, God's word is settled forever in heaven. The copies are not perfect. People making them have known that for thousands of years. (Affirming that these copies = genuine Word of God and authoritative is not denial that they have scribal errors)

Peter wrote:
I have been called a schismatic on these forums in the past, but the fact is the Standard Sacred Text position is the historical one...

1. The "standard sacred text position" must be defined. If you mean "a standard text we all use and view as authoritative," yes, it's the historical position. If you mean "the text we have is word perfect and there will never be a need to adjust it according to MS discoveries," you have not shown that this is the historic view.
2. A historic view is not necessarily a correct view if it cannot be supported by Scripture. I've shown that the Bible does not teach that copies will be perfect or that believers (or some subgroup of believers) will be able to maintain a word perfect set of copies (or text--which really is the same thing) through all generations.

Anybody feel like going back through the thread and collecting all the counterarguments I've made that Peter has not answered? I might do it later. It's quite a large number now.

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

Quote:
I have been called a schismatic on these forums in the past, but the fact is the Standard Sacred Text position is the historical one and the one to which you hold Brother Blumer is a new contrivance mixed with old terminology. My profs at Westminster and Calvin knew it. My Dad’s profs at GRBBC, Westminster, and Calvin knew it and some of them admitted as much, but they desired progress over tradition. Brother Blumer is neither on the side of progess nor tradition, and the sad thing is, he doesn’t even know it.

Well, considering that you're the one that came here to start the discussion http://sharperiron.org/comment/37482#comment-37482 ]in hopes of straightening us all out and sharpening your own iron , the term schismatic is apropos. A Schismatic is properly defined as:

Dictionary.com wrote:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/schismatic ]Schismatic
noun
2. a person who promotes schism or is an adherent of a schismatic body.

I find it interesting that http://sharperiron.org/comment/36294#comment-36294 ]one of your opening posts said this:

Quote:
Before I begin my response I would like to offer a simple anecdote. After attending an evangelical college, concluding graduate work at a Presbyterian seminary and post-graduate work at a Christian Reformed seminary I never once encountered the historic Standard Sacred Text position being taught by these schools with the exception of two professors. That said, I would not be surprised if some opponents of said position are hearing portions, if not all of this material for the first time. In addition, if you would desire to know the Standard Sacred Text position then allow me a simplistic paraphrase of Socrates, If you are to learn a thing then understand first that there are aspects you don't know about the thing, for if you already know the thing there is very little to learn. Furthermore, if you do not know then it is unwise to make an enemy of that unknown thing, prematurely.

Maybe the reason why you never head this position at three different schools - with the exception of the two teachers you mentioned - and the reason why you're getting such a strong pushback at this site, and the reason why you can only quote two church leaders in your semi-defense is because your position is wrong.

Just think about it.

Quote:
The major change now is that God's people agree that God's word is corrupted and needs to be restored. Furthermore, certain texts should be doubted because there isn't enough manuscript evidence to support them.

Really? Because no one here has had any problems or questions about the sufficiency of God's Word until you got here (and then others jumped in, like RPittman). This has never come up in any church that I've ever attended...it's only when people like you creep in and start preaching schismatic doctrine that we have to even concern ourselves with defending it.

Another question - What texts are you saying that we should doubt? It's pretty obvious that you're referring to Biblical texts, so I'd like to know. I'm assuming the longer ending of Mark, maybe, and the Johannine Comma. Are there any others?

And speaking of which - are you saying that God didn't, couldn't, or wouldn't protect His word? You say that God's Word is corrupted, so that tells me a lot of interesting things about your view of God Himself. I wonder what He thinks of it.

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

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Brother Blumer I believe you missed the point and perhaps I have made it too complicated.

You purport that Scripture and reason should be enough to engage in a discussion on sacred Bibliology.

I disagree fundamentally on two points: 1.) Scripture + reason alone neglects the work of the Spirit in God's people of the past. That is why history must hold an equal or greater position than your own reason. God by the Holy Spirit has given us most if not all the answers to any of our questions through His work in the Church of the past. If we were talking philosophy or physics than I think you would have a point to focus on your prime source of predication and your own reason, but we are talking about a transgenerational organism called the Church which God has lead since its inception into all truth. 2.) I have offered Scripture and the historical interpretation of those passages and they are not in agreement with your insistence on a heavenly text. Look at my summary and stop at the second major section. Forget the essential Latin stuff. Even there, you do not exegete after the historical fashion. In doing so you have placed your reason over the historical account of orthodox exegesis based on no other authority than your own reason. Conclusion, Scripture + your reason are not enough to engage in this topic.

If there are 5 mss or 5000 mss that differ the difficulty is the same, which words are the very words of God. The pre-Enlightenment position held to a standard authoritative apographa on earth. The post-Enlightenment crowd, like Brother Blumer don't hold to a standard authoritative anything on earth. This is a fundamental divergence, not secondary or tertiary, but fundamental. By all means declare the historical position to be wrong, but don't claim to be historically consistent in the same breath.

Once I have finished addressing you and Brother JayC I will offer verifiable quotation from those who rejected history, and admitting that much. The fact is that if you hold to the modern form of text criticism then you reject history. If you accept modern text criticism but cling to history then you are neither traditional nor progressive, and as a result, you are more alone than you think. In truth you are far more alone in your position than any soul in the Standard Sacred Text camp, and certainly in the modern/progressive camp.

The Standard Sacred Text position = the belief that God by the Holy Spirit has lead His people to accept the autopiston words of God to the place that both the books and words in both [res and verba ] of Sacred Scripture came together in one certain and authoritative apographa. This is the Standard Sacred Text position and historical position in extreme summation.

Brother Blumer wrote,

Quote:
A historic view is not necessarily a correct view if it cannot be supported by Scripture.

I offered Scripture and commentary on at least 5 separate passages. If the Bible says the Bible is pure, more sure, will not pass away, and is inspired. We learn from those Scriptures the theology of autopistos from "inspiration", holy and authentic from "pure", certainty and authority from "more sure" and "will not pass away". Furthermore we come to the knowledge of apographa [copy ] vs. autographa [original ] from the fact that when Christ says "will not pass away" or David says "pure" they are not talking about the autographa, but the apographa. Every bit of this is from the Bible. That said lets change one word in the above quote and see what it sounds like.

Brother Blumer’s quote modified

Quote:
A modernistic view is not necessarily a correct view if it cannot be supported by Scripture.

Can we both agree on this? If so then let us conclude that your present modern approach to the Scripture is not necessarily correct and should therefore be rejected. In fact let us reject your position until you provide Scripture to support the pursuit of authorial intention, the shortest reading is best, the hardest reading is best, the oldest reading is best, not incorporating but abandoning the TR, why the leading of the Holy Spirit is not mentioned in the process of modern text criticism, why the Bible should no longer be referred to a "pure" and "more sure" etc.

One point concerning Christ's words about the Bible, if Christ in multiple places whether it be the Rich Man and Lazarus or "As it is written" was pointing souls to a corrupted Scriptural witness, what is to say He has not pointed us to an corrupted message of salvation? The only way we know is by looking at Bible that Brother Blumer says is corrupted. So we, according to Brother Blumer, look through a corrupted text [our Bible ] to Christ referring to a corrupted text [His Bible ] the result of which in an uncorrupted message of salvation? If the text is not corrupted but incomplete, how do you know it is incomplete? You don't have a complete text to compare with. For all you know the "incomplete" text may be complete. Let's say it is incomplete. Which parts are missing? Who knows. I mean according to Brother Blumer the Scripture no where claims to promise that the word of God be settled on earth. So buckle up ladies and gentlemen, the word of God, according to Brother Blumer may be either corrupt or incomplete until the second coming of Christ. Still there is one thing we all can know for certain if we take Brother Blumer's point of view, the believing community may never have all of the council of God, and we know that God's people certainly do not have it now. You know how we know for certain...neither do I.

So there are those like myself who hold to the Standard Sacred Text position who are said to be schismatics, even though we cling to the historical position of the believing community. Then there are those who hold to a modern view of the text who consider themselves mainstream while at the same time reject the rich historical position of the believing community. Then there are those on SI who manifest a unique aberrational position in that they say they hold to history but treat the Bible like those of the modern text camp. Brother Blumer and company cling to fragments of the historical position and the progressive position which makes them quit unique and unfortunately alone.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Brother JayC

Brother JayC wrote

Quote:
Maybe the reason why you never heard this position at three different schools - with the exception of the two teachers you mentioned - and the reason why you're getting such a strong pushback at this site, and the reason why you can only quote two church leaders in your semi-defense is because your position is wrong.

Or maybe because even when I quote only two guys you accuse me of writing a tome, Brother Blumer says that what I offer is tangential, and you both write as if you either did no read it or you don't care.

Or maybe the reason why I did not hear this position in the schools I went to is because some of my profs advocated theistic evolution and I fought them on that. Or maybe because some of my profs argued for the validity of transubstantiation, and I fought them on that. Or maybe because there were guys at Calvin college that argued people don't have souls, and I fought them on that. Or maybe because I had an ethics prof that argued that a woman who gets an abortion can be morally wrong but not morally guilty, and I fought them on that. Then of course you will probably only see it as a coincidence that these schools were foundational in the formulation of the ESV and NIV. The point is that once your Bible goes to seed your theology, science, and ethics do to.

Or maybe the reason why I never heard this position in the schools I went to is because of intellectual dishonesty. The treatment of the Standard Sacred Text position in the university is treated the same way creation is treated in the public schools. There is rich philosophical, historical, and scientific support for creation but such information is rejected because of intellectual dishonesty. There is rich Scriptural, theological, philosophical, and historical support for the Standard Sacred Text position but it is ignored in the university, which is intellectually dishonest.

Brother JayC wrote

Quote:
What texts are you saying that we should doubt? It's pretty obvious that you're referring to Biblical texts, so I'd like to know.

Your best place to go is Brother Blumer who said that your Bible is not certain. He goes on to say something like, sure we would like it to be certain but its not and that is the way it is. If you Bible is not certain that it is in doubt.

Brother JayC wrote

Quote:
You say that God's Word is corrupted, so that tells me a lot of interesting things about your view of God Himself. I wonder what He thinks of it.

On the contrary I have argued for the purity of an extant standard authoritative apographa for weeks. It is Brother Blumer that has argued for corrupted mss that leads to a less than pure text, and if it is not pure then it is corrupt. So once again write a post asking Brother Blumer about what God thinks about a position that says His Bible is less than pure, in other words, corrupt.

--- BREAK ---

Both Brother Blumer and Brother JayC have ignored my invitations to offer a position so I will offer a glimpse into the position they defend even if they don't know they defend it, which is possible seeing they don't know if they have all the Bible, and if you don't know you have the Bible it is probable that you don't know alot of things.

Purpose: The purpose of the following is to offer a glimpse into certain assumptions of the modern text critical approach. This is not even a brief summary, but a glimpse.

Sources:

J. Harold Greenlee's Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism (1983) - This volume is representative of a text book for a standard college class discussing modern text criticism.

Bruce M. Metzger's The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration (1992) - I chose this volume because Metzger is a brilliant linguistic scholar, and he will serve to add scholastic weight to this position.

Westcott and Hort's [W&H ] The New Testament in the Original Greek: Introduction and Appendix (1881) - I have chosen this book first because of its allegiance to Greisbach and secondly because it is monumental to the formulation of modern text critical practice.

A. F. Hort's Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort vol. 1 (1896) - I chose this volume to help shed a bit of light on Dr. Hort's disposition toward the Bible of God's people in that day.

B.B. Warfield's The Westminster Assembly and Its Works (1931) - I have chosen this work because Warfield is the one who includes W&H methodology in how the word of God is preserved.

A Glimpse into the Foundational Presuppositions of Modern Textual Criticism.

I. Scripture used in formulating the following position.

-There isn't any, so this section is done.

II. Theology drawn from Scripture which is used in the formulating of the following position.

-There isn't any, so this section is done.

III. Historic theology derived from the above Scriptures.

-There isn't any. There is no mention of certainty, authenticity, trustworthy in and of itself, authority, res, verba, apographa vs. autographa, or inspiration. The one exception being Warfield and he only applies these things to the original documents written at the hand of Moses and the prophets which are forever lost and not to a standard authoritative copy of God's word as the orthodox did.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

IV. A glimpse into the presuppositions of modern text criticism.

Think with me for a moment. The believing community had been reading and studying the Greek and Hebrew of the Textus Receptus and the Masoretic Hebrew and reading from the KJB. Thousands of manuscripts [mss ] where brought to contemporary light. At this point there was only one approach to those mss, compare and evaluate them and in doing so allow the self-authenticating, trustworthy in and of itself [autopistos ] character of the words of Scripture to bear witness by the leading of the Holy Spirit in God's people as they submit to what the Bible says about itself in order to guide God's people into all truth concerning the words of Scripture. This is the right and historic way of working your way through mss.

But there arose a second approach, very different from the historic approach. That approach began with the rejection of the Bible of God's people and the formulation of a new Greek and Hebrew Bible starting from these newly discovered mss. Furthermore, the language of certainty and purity concerning the words of God were exchanged for probability and incurable corruption.

That said let's look into some quotes that substantiate the claims of the above paragraph.

Where does textual criticism fall in a list of priorities? According to Greenlee, "N.T. textual criticism, therefore, is the basic Biblical study, a prerequisite to all other Biblical and theological work. Interpretation, systematization, and application of the teachings of the N.T. cannot be done until textual criticism has done at least some of its work." (p.17) To all the pastors out there it is Greenlee's position that textual criticism comes before preaching, counseling, and teaching. The above quote is indicative of fact that modern textual criticism has taken the Bible from God's people, done with it what was academically accepted and then given back to the rest of us for use. Who is first in this picture? Who has the authority in this picture? The Holy Spirit working in God's people in accordance with the self-authenticating words of God? No, it is a handful of scholars and academicians making dictating to the believing community.

Let us begin with Greenlee with regard to the place W&H holds in the overall modern text critical endeavor. "The textual theory of W-H underlies virtually all subsequent work in N.T. textual criticism." (p. 78) So when we speak of W&H do not think of them as "just any thing" or an "obfuscation of the issue" but rather as sort of founding fathers of modern textual criticism.

Greenlee continues with regard to W&H principles of criticism when he writes, "A ms. which is seen to have preferred readings in instances in which the principles of criticism yeild a fairly certain conclusion will then tend to be trusted in instances in which the intrinsic probability is uncertain." (pp.78-79)

That is to say, that when W&H or any text critic for that matter encounters a preferred reading [i.e. preferred according to the scholar, not the Holy Spirit or believing community ] where the principles of text criticism [i.e. things like the shorter, older, and/or harder reading is best ] give a fairly certain [i.e. not certain ] conclusion will then tend [still not certain ] to be trusted when "intrinsic probability" [yet another layer of uncertainty ] is uncertain.

The Greek text of the Bible is now spoken of in terms of "scholar preferred readings", "fairly certain", "tend to be trusted", "probability" and "uncertain". Such language rests at the very heart of modern textual criticism. This amount of uncertainty does not simply appear in scholarship rather it is grown and fostered. So let's cut to the chase as Hort does when he writes concerning the T.R., "I had no idea till the last few weeks of the importance of texts, having read so little of Greek Testament, and dragged on with the villainous Textus Receptus." and later in that same paragraph, "Think of that vile Textus Receptus leaning entirely on late MSS." (p. 211; Underline Mine) Let us be clear, W&H were not favorable toward the Bible of God's people let alone being “neutral” as a scientist should be. These men were haters of the Bible of the Church.

Continuing, under subheading 361-370 "Approximate sufficiency of existing documents for the recovery of the genuine text, notwithstanding the existence of some primitive corruptions." (p. 276) W&H ask this question, "Have we a right to assume that the true readings always exists somewhere among existing documents?" (p. 276) They answer with this, "The question is often foreclosed on one or both of two grounds which in our judgment are quite irrelevant." (p. 276) What are these irrelevant grounds? "First, some think it incredible [Mine: not credible ] that any true words of Scripture should have perished." They retort with this lengthy sentence,

"In reply it is a sufficient argumentum ad hominem to point to the existence of various readings, forming part of various texts accepted for long ages, and the frequent difficulty of deciding between them, even though we say nothing of difficulties of interpretation: on 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)

A few comments: Brother JayC claimed that the sufficiency of Scripture is not in question when discussing this topic. I disagree, and W&H disagree as they refer to the "approximate sufficiency of existing documents" which is to say they are not sufficient in the way historic orthodoxy would claim. Furthermore, I cannot count how many times Brother Blumer and company either said or inferred W&H's very line "some think it incredible that any true words ..." and W&H treat this position as "sufficient argumentum ad hominem." And what is the reasoning behind this is the same as Brother Blumer's. Brother Blumer argued that the OT of Christ's time was sufficient for Christ's time but was not necessarily pure as those documents written at the hand of Moses and the prophets. W&H argue the same line in saying that God's people only had an approximately pure text then so it is fair to say that we will only have an approximately pure text now and "in all future time." Moving on. Right after the above quotes W&H write,

"For ourselves we dare not introduce considerations which could nor reasonably be applied to other ancient texts, supposing them to have documentary attestation of equal amount, variety, and antiquity." (p.277)

Now when I first presented this quote to Brother Blumer in support of the fact that W&H reject the supernatural character of Scripture (i.e. autopistos) when dealing with the words of God, Brother Blumer denied that accusation of supernatural rejection. I hope now it is even clearer. They began this subsection by declaring as to whether or not all of the words of God are present in all the extant mss as irrelevant, and then they go on to say that they treat the text of Holy Scripture the same as they would with all other ancient texts.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

On another point, why would it matter to Brother Blumer and company anyway that we have an approximately pure text, and that it would be that way for all the future? It doesn't. They are happy to say the Holy Scriptures are only pure in Heaven. Brother Blumer is large agreement with W&H on this issue. The problem is that if you look at my summary of the Standard Sacred Text position, the holy word of God is not spoken of in this way, as an "approximately pure text." This position and language is not in keeping with God's people of the past, in fact it is the exact opposite. That said, let us continue with W&H.

"The external evidence is therefore such that on the one hand perfect purity is not a priori improbable, and a singularly high degree of purity is highly probable; and yet the conditions are not such - it is difficult to see how they could ever be such - as to exclude the possibility of textual errors." (p. 279)

Commentary: Even though the Bible says that it is itself pure, W&H say that perfect purity before the facts is improbable, still a "high degree of purity is highly probable." A high degree of probability is not what the Bible says. The Bible says of itself that it is very pure. Furthermore W&H contend that the conditions at present are not suitable nor will they ever be able to produce a text without errors or corruptions. Once again Brother JayC the sufficiency of Scripture is certainly in question.

Still in another place they write, "Even where a text is certain enough to make the exhibition of alternative readings superfluous, gradation of certainty is a necessary consequent of the manifold gradations of evidence." (p. 285) Everyone see that, W&H referred to the words of Holy Scriptures as existing in a state of "gradation of certainty." Is this consistent with the language of church history? No, so why do Brother Blumer and company insist on appealing to a history they do not know, ignore, or do not ascribe to? My guess is that they want to remain orthodox while attempting to avoid the peer pressure of their colleagues on this topic. Just a guess. In any case I have no idea how they can equate the language of "gradation of certainty" "intrinsic probability", and "approximately pure" with the meaning of certitudo [i.e. the certainty of knowledge ] and autopistos [i.e. self-credible or trustworthy in and of itself ] of the historic orthodox?

So then it is through this rhetoric that Greenlee concludes, "The work of W-H brought about the final dethronement of the T.R. and the establishment of a critical text." (p. 81)

So then how does W&H make it into modern mainstream theology. It is commonly held that B.B. Warfield was instrumental in bring W&H methodology into modern mainstream theology. The most formative testimony we have from Warfield is found in his work done on the Westminster Assembly, concerning which he wrote,

"In the sense of the Westminster Confession, therefore, the multiplication of copies of the Scriptures, the several early efforts towards the revision of the text, the raising up of scholars in our own day to collect and collate MSS., and to reform the text on scientific principles - or our Tischendorfs and Tregelleses, and Wescotts and Horts - are all part of God's singular care and providence in preserving His inspired Word pure." (p. 239)

The specific portion of the Westminster Confession that Warfield is speaking to is Chap. 1 Sec. 8 which reads, "The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it, was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical." The question I have for W&H and Warfield is where does "kept pure in all ages" fit in W&H system of thought of gradation of certainty and approximate purity? Furthermore you see the word "authentical" from the Latin authentia which denotes authoritative writing concerning which Turretin writes, "one in which all things are abundantly sufficient to inspire confidence; one to which the fullest credit is due in its own kind; one of which we can be entirely sure that it has proceeded from the author whose name bears it; one in which everything is written just as he himself wished." (Turretin, vol. 1, p. 113)

On a side note, Brother Blumer you have continued to ask why I use the "S" in MSTC. Look at Warfield's words, he claims to reform the text through scientific principles. Its not my word its his word. Furthermore, find "scientific principles" as a means of "restoration" of God's words to God's church in church history and perhaps we can partly agree that the text criticism of pre-enlightenment is the same as the text criticism of the post-Enlightenment.

Now for those of you who really care, take my summary of the Standard Sacred Text position and the above glimpse and compare them. See how close they are. See which one is more charitable in the treatment of God's word. See if the above is in the train of thought as the believers of the past or if it has started a new train of thought. I think that you will see that things are very different between what we have endured in the past 150 years or so and what we had before the 1800's.

V. Final Conclusions

1.) There is no Scripture to support modern textual theory and process, but there is Scripture to support the Spirit of God>Word of God> People of God paradigm.

2.) There is no theology to support modern textual theory, in fact according to Warfield it is not even a matter of theology but a matter of science.

3.) There is no history to support modern textual theory in fact the Bible of God's people at the time of W&H was deemed villainous and vile.

4.) Modern textual criticism claims to hold a position prior to and superior to that of any other Biblical endeavor [i.e. preaching and theology ].

5.) The historic terminology of certainty and self-credible have been replaced with uncertainty and probability.

6.) The sufficiency of Scripture is in question.

7.) God's word is to be treated like any other ancient book if the "evidence" is to be interpreted correctly.

8.) The fact that God by the Holy Spirit had lead God's people into truth long before modern text criticism was flatly rejected in the rejection of the work God's people had done up until the 1800's.

9.) It was deemed necessary to reject and discard the Bible of God's people as if the Holy Spirit had utterly failed and to start again with a new critical text.

10.) Modern Scientific Textual Criticism is largely inconsistent with the terminology, attitude, disposition, and Biblical obedience of the historic orthodoxy of God's people.

11.) Finally, MSTC is not bound by Scripture therefore it is not bound. Greenlee said it best, "N.T. textual criticism...is the basic Bible study, a prerequisite to all other Biblical and theological work." (p.17) In fact the converse is true according to Greenlee, all Biblical and theological work is bound to MSTC.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Peter wrote:
I believe you missed the point and perhaps I have made it too complicated.

No, you didn't make it too complicated, nor did I miss the point.
The question is, which of these describes our ability to interpret biblical teaching in relation to experts of ages past?

  1. We can always interpret Scripture correctly without backing that interpretation with quotes from pre-enlightenment dead guys.
  2. We can sometimes interpret Scripture correctly without backing that interpretation with quotes from pre-enlightenment dead guys
  3. We can neverinterpret Scripture correctly without backing that interpretation with quotes from pre-enlightenment dead guys

    Pretty much has to be one of these three. So which is it, in your view?
    Please understand that in my view, the Holy Spirit is active in the "reasoning" of believers. I am not aware of any basis for excluding Him from that.

    Peer wrote:
    I disagree fundamentally on two points: 1.) Scripture + reason alone neglects the work of the Spirit in God's people of the past.
    That is why history must hold an equal or greater position than your own reason. God by the Holy Spirit has given us most if not all the answers to any of our questions through His work in the Church of the past.

    You're welcome to disagree, of course. Readers will have to decide if you've made a persuasive case for your view of things.
    But I wonder, if we are unable to interpret the Scriptures correctly in any case without heavy reliance on the work of past interpreters, who did those past interpreters rely on?
    Somebody had to be the first to say "I can read the Bible and get it right without quoting Turretin."

    Peter wrote:
    The post-Enlightenment crowd, like Brother Blumer don't hold to a standard authoritative anything on earth.

    Not so. I've already explained that "authoritative" is not the same as "we know we have every single word originally inspired."
    I believe the text we have is authoritative.

    Peter wrote:
    The Standard Sacred Text position = the belief that ...This is the Standard Sacred Text position and historical position in extreme summation.

    So you keep saying.
    But I repeat: the historical argument is the weakest of the lot because there is no escaping the fact that this history is human history and people mess up. We believe in sola scriptura around here because we know Scripture is where the real authority lies... and history must be judged by it.

    Peter wrote:
    I offered Scripture and commentary on at least 5 separate passages. If the Bible says the Bible is pure, more sure, will not pass away, and is inspired. We learn from those Scriptures the theology of autopistos from "inspiration", holy and authentic from "pure", certainty and authority from "more sure" and "will not pass away".

    This is all fine, except that "we learn" is really "we interpret," and then "we extrapolate" from that the idea that there is a group of believers that has the ability to maintain a pure text from the copies people make.

    Again, the fact that the Scriptures are pure and will never pass away is not in dispute. The question is where and in what form will they endure? Do you have a passage that says where and in what form? I have one: "settled [i.e., established ] forever in heaven." Psalm 119:89

    Peter wrote:
    A modernistic view is not necessarily a correct view if it cannot be supported by Scripture.

    Absolutely.

    Peter wrote:
    Can we both agree on this? If so then let us conclude that your present modern approach to the Scripture is not necessarily correct and should therefore be rejected.

    It doesn't follow that if a statement is not necessarily true it is therefore necessarily false.
    "I will eat lunch tomorrow" is not necessarily true. It is also not necessarily false. Being in the future, it can only be said to be probable.

    But I'm actually quite comfortable with the position that says "I believe the traditional text is best because...." but makes no claim that the view is biblical doctrine. I mean, I disagree but it's no big deal. It's the various positions that claim "my traditional text position is the biblical position," that I itch to differ with.
    A claim to have biblical doctrine requires support from Scripture.

    For all I know, something closer to majority text or TR might eventually turn out to be the most accurate. All I'm claiming now is that "traditional text is the only correct one because the Bible says so" is untrue and that, therefore, it makes sense to compile the text using all the available MSS, evaluating them according to best criteria we can discern.

    Peter wrote:
    In fact let us reject your position until you provide Scripture to support the pursuit of authorial intention, the shortest reading is best, the hardest reading is best, the oldest reading is best, not incorporating but abandoning the TR, why the leading of the Holy Spirit is not mentioned in the process of modern text criticism, why the Bible should no longer be referred to a "pure" and "more sure" etc.

    Feel free to reject that position.
    A. It isn't my position.
    B. Rejecting another view doesn't provide support for your own view.

    Peter wrote:
    ... if Christ in multiple places whether it be the Rich Man and Lazarus or "As it is written" was pointing souls to a corrupted Scriptural witness, what is to say He has not pointed us to an corrupted message of salvation?

    The message of salvation is clear in every version of the text.

    Peter wrote:
    So we, according to Brother Blumer, look through a corrupted text [ our Bible ] to Christ referring to a corrupted text [ His Bible ] the result of which in an uncorrupted message of salvation? If the text is not corrupted but incomplete, how do you know it is incomplete?

    This has already been asked and answered, too.
    We don't know that any particular edition of the text is incomplete. We know it's improbable that it is perfect in every respect because the manuscripts differ. So the reasoning is pretty simple:
    A. The Bible does not tell us that the copies people make will be flawless
    B. The copies we have found are not flawless
    Therefore, the text we have is probably not flawless.... the same kinds of fallible people who made the flawed copies are making the texts. No one of is perfect.

    Peter wrote:
    ...are said to be schismatics, even though we cling to the historical position... Then there are those who hold to a modern view of the text who consider themselves mainstream ... Then there are those on SI who manifest a unique aberrational position in that they say they hold to history but treat the Bible like those of the modern text camp. Brother Blumer and company cling to fragments of the historical position and the progressive position which makes them quit unique and unfortunately alone.

    I don't think I've ever made any claims or arguments based on who's schismatic or mainstream.
    I also don't think I can respond to "hold to history." I don't know what that even means. History is not monolithic. I'm all for being well informed from historical theology and giving it the respect it's due.
    I'm not for giving it absolute authority.

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:
Or maybe because even when I quote only two guys you accuse me of writing a tome, Brother Blumer says that what I offer is tangential, and you both write as if you either did no read it or you don't care.

You posted 8 lengthy posts worth of stuff. Starts w/166.
What I said about that--and still do--is that most of it is either not in dispute, not relevant to the debate or both.

Peter wrote:
The point is that once your Bible goes to seed your theology, science, and ethics do to.

Case in point. Nobody here is in favor of Bibles that have "gone to seed."

Peter wrote:
Your best place to go is Brother Blumer who said that your Bible is not certain. He goes on to say something like, sure we would like it to be certain but its not and that is the way it is. If you Bible is not certain that it is in doubt.

I did not say the Bible is not certain. I said which MSS are correct in every case is not certain. And, consequently, whether you have every single word right is not certain.

Peter wrote:
Both Brother Blumer and Brother JayC have ignored my invitations to offer a position

I've described my position many times. One of the most recent summaries of it: http://sharperiron.org/comment/37438#comment-37438
I've also linked to http://sharperiron.org/article/preservation-how-and-what-part-4 ]my Preservation series , which goes through it more detail.

Peter wrote:
Purpose: The purpose of the following is to offer a glimpse into certain assumptions of the modern text critical approach...
Sources...
A Glimpse into the Foundational Presuppositions of Modern Textual Criticism.
I. Scripture used in formulating the following position.
-There isn't any, so this section is done.
II. Theology drawn from Scripture which is used in the formulating of the following position.
-There isn't any, so this section is done.
III. Historic theology derived from the above Scriptures.
-There isn't any.

Here, you're confusing categories. To learn what our doctrine of Scripture should be ("foundational" ideas), we first go to Scripture and exhaust what is revealed. To develop a method for comparing MSS and deciding which are best, we are on our own. Scripture does not reveal such a method.

An analogy might be helpful:
Scripture teaches that NT Christians should give. It doesn't tell us how to about collecting. So some use a box at the back door, some pass a plate, some do it other ways. Any who claim they are doing it "the biblical way," should expect to be challenged on that point to show how their way is biblical. Those who are not claiming to have a "biblical" method are not obligated to support their claim with Scripture.

In short, if you don't claim your idea is biblical doctrine, you don't have to support it with Scripture.

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:
The believing community had been reading and studying the Greek and Hebrew of the Textus Receptus and the Masoretic Hebrew and reading from the KJB. Thousands of manuscripts [mss ] where brought to contemporary light. At this point there was only one approach to those mss, compare and evaluate them and in doing so allow the self-authenticating, trustworthy in and of itself [autopistos ] character of the words of Scripture to bear witness by the leading of the Holy Spirit in God's people as they submit to what the Bible says about itself in order to...

But there arose a second approach... That approach began with the rejection of the Bible of God's people and the formulation of a new Greek and Hebrew Bible starting from these newly discovered mss. Furthermore, the language of certainty and purity concerning the words of God were exchanged for probability and incurable corruption.


1. If you believe in comparing and evaluating MSS, you agree with my position, with two important differences: a. I believe in using all of MSS, b."evaluate" necessarily implies criteria.
2. If you grant that the MSS differ, how did that happen? If human beings made mistakes copying, why should we believe that they are infallible when comparing those copies to choose the correct reading?
3. How would a second person plural pronoun "self authenticate" compared to a first person plural pronoun? (For the grammatically challenged, that's "you" vs. "us"... this particular MS variation occurs many times in the NT.) Would they do it based on internal evidence, external evidence or a warm feeling or what?

Peter wrote:
..Who has the authority in this picture? The Holy Spirit working in God's people in accordance with the self-authenticating words of God? No, it is a handful of scholars and academicians making dictating to the believing community.

All they are saying is that you have to have Scripture before you can have the teaching of Scripture. So textual criticism has priority in that sense.
But really, I'm not dependent on any of these guy's views for my position that "the traditional text view is the biblical view" is untrue.

Peter wrote:
So when we speak of W&H do not think of them as "just any thing" ... but rather as sort of founding fathers of modern textual criticism.

Nobody's denying that W & H were pioneers and that what has developed since began with them... and that several of their ideas are still widely held.

Peter wrote:
...when W&H or any text critic for that matter encounters a preferred reading [ i.e. preferred according to the scholar, not the Holy Spirit or believing community ]

False disjunction. The scholar can be a believer and can work with the aid of the Holy Spirit. If several believing scholars work together you even have a believing community. You described the developers of the traditional text as "evaluating manuscripts." And you maintain that the Holy Spirit was involved. If we could "evaluate" then with the aid of the Spirit, why can't we do it now?

Peter wrote:
The Greek text of the Bible is now spoken of in terms of "scholar preferred readings", "fairly certain", "tend to be trusted", "probability" and "uncertain"...

Yes. If the MSS exist and differ, and if Scripture does not teach that human beings will be able to identify correct ones perfectly, then of course the result of our work has to be described in terms of probability.
This is called intellectual honesty.

Peter wrote:
These men were haters of the Bible of the Church.

I think this would be very hard to prove. I mean, if "these men" means "all of these men," that's hard to prove. If it means "some of these men," well, that's not really a problem for our view. It necessarily implies that some of them were not haters, etc.
But either way, as I explained many posts ago, even a rabid atheist can develop an effective method for accomplishing a goal. To use my collecting offerings analogy, what if an atheist came up with the idea of passing the plate (for all I know, one did... it sure isn't in the NT). Is it therefore, a bad idea?

But my position is not that modern textual critics are necessarily right in their method. My position is that the traditional text view articulated in this thread has no legitimate claim to being "the biblical view."

Peter wrote:
"...on 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."

Yes. If the Bible does not claim that people will make perfect copies or perfectly identify the text from imperfect copies, and if the MSS differ, then the texts imperfect people create not likely to be perfect. They are "approximately pure" in that sense.
The Word of God, however, is pure. It is settled forever in Heaven and cannot be changed. But we do not know that we have matches that word down to every single word of Greek and Hebrew that God originally inspired.

Peter wrote:
Brother JayC claimed that the sufficiency of Scripture is not in question when discussing this topic. I disagree, and W&H disagree as they refer to the "approximate sufficiency of existing documents" which is to say they are not sufficient..

1. It doesn't follow that if W & H say the texts we make are approximate, they believe they are not sufficient.
2. Even if W & H say the texts are not sufficient, it does not follow that we agree with them.

Peter wrote:
Brother Blumer argued that the OT of Christ's time was sufficient for Christ's time but was not necessarily pure as those documents written at the hand of Moses and the prophets. W&H argue the same line...

That I agree w/ W & H on that particular is not in dispute.

Peter wrote:
"For ourselves we dare not introduce considerations which could nor reasonably be applied to other ancient texts, supposing them to have documentary attestation of equal amount, variety, and antiquity." ... Now when I first presented this quote to Brother Blumer ...Brother Blumer denied that accusation of supernatural rejection.

Actually, you claimed that W & H did not believe in the supernatural. I said I don't think that's accurate.
What they seem to be saying here is that a sound method for looking at differing MSS and identifying the best reading is a method that would work for any ancient text. Provided they mean to include internal evidence in that process, I'm inclined to agree.
But, again, I claim no loyalty to W & H and I doubt anybody today agrees w/them on every point. In my own experience, making textual choices involved much attention to the theological factors for which reading is best--if any theological factors could be identified. My impression is that many who prefer an eclectic text weigh that heavily as well. If W & H were not big on that, that would be an area where their thinking is rejected by many today.

In any case, my view is not that W & H's criteria and process are necessarily the best, but rather that the traditional text view defended here has no legitimate claim to biblical superiority.

The mistake you're making here, Peter, is in assuming that people either agree with your view or agree with W & H. You are invalidly excluding a large middle.

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:
...This position and language is not in keeping with God's people of the past, in fact it is the exact opposite.

It's true that they generally emphasized the purity of the text.
I think I've answered that several times though. In the Augustine letter I quoted a while back, he said that if he came across something in his reading of Scripture that seemed to be wrong, one option he considered was that the MS was in error.
And the KJV translators included many alternate textual choices in the margins because they, too, did not believe they new exactly which word was correct in every case.
So I think the historical case remains less strong than you think.
But it's a weak argument to begin with... for reasons I've already expressed.

Peter wrote:
That said, let us continue with W&H...

More W & H quotes are really not going to support your claim that your traditional text view is the biblical view.

Peter wrote:
So then how does W&H make it into modern mainstream theology. It is commonly held that B.B. Warfield was instrumental in bring W&H methodology into modern mainstream theology. The most formative testimony we have from Warfield is found in his work done on the Westminster Assembly, concerning which he wrote,

"In the sense of the Westminster Confession, therefore, the multiplication of copies of the Scriptures, the several early efforts towards the revision of the text, the raising up of scholars in our own day to collect and collate MSS., and to reform the text on scientific principles - or our Tischendorfs and Tregelleses, and Wescotts and Horts - are all part of God's singular care and providence in preserving His inspired Word pure." (p. 239)


Interesting.
Doesn't support your claim that your traditional text view is biblical.

Peter wrote:
On a side note, Brother Blumer you have continued to ask why I use the "S" in MSTC. Look at Warfield's words, he claims to reform the text through scientific principles. Its not my word its his word. Furthermore, find "scientific principles" as a means of "restoration" of God's words to God's church in church history and perhaps we can partly agree that the text criticism of pre-enlightenment is [ not ] the same as the text criticism of the post-Enlightenment.

To the latter, yes, the method is presumably different. I think Stephanus and Elzivir, for example, were pretty much going with a "majority is correct" approach, if I remember right.
But they were not using a "believing community gets a direct revelation from the Spirit" approach. It was evaluation by criteria, a cognitive process.

To the first part of that statement, I don't remember asking why, though I remember asking what you meant by the term. I have no problem with "scientific," properly defined. Science itself is not anti-God or ant-Spirit. The way some define it and execute it is anti-God. That would be their problem.... but not mine.

Peter wrote:
1.) There is no Scripture to support modern textual theory and process, but there is Scripture to support the Spirit of God>Word of God> People of God paradigm.

The former is method. It does not claim to be Bible doctrine and does not need biblical support.
The latter: God speaks to His people via the Scriptures and the Spirit. This is not in dispute. What's in dispute is whether that means that God's people have the ability to compile perfect texts from conflicting MSS.
There are no verses that teach this.

Peter wrote:
2.) There is no theology to support modern textual theory, in fact according to Warfield it is not even a matter of theology but a matter of science.
Answered earlier.

Quote:
3.) There is no history to support modern textual theory in fact the Bible of God's people at the time of W&H was deemed villainous and vile.

Answered earlier. My position does not claim that W & H held to some historical view.

Quote:
4.) Modern textual criticism claims to hold a position prior to and superior to that of any other Biblical endeavor [i.e. preaching and theology ].

Actually it doesn't. See above.

Quote:
5.) The historic terminology of certainty and self-credible have been replaced with uncertainty and probability.

Answered above. There is no virtue in claiming certainty about what is not certain.

Quote:
6.) The sufficiency of Scripture is in question.
It is not. See earlier posts.

Quote:
7.) God's word is to be treated like any other ancient book if the "evidence" is to be interpreted correctly.

Straw man. Nobody claims "God's word" is to be handled in this way. The claim is that the process of identifying best readings from MS evidence is the same. But again, nobody has to believe this in order to deny that the traditional text view is biblical.

Quote:
8.) The fact that God by the Holy Spirit had lead God's people into truth long before modern text criticism was flatly rejected in the rejection of the work God's people had done up until the 1800's.

You have not shown that God's people have ever had a kind of leading of the Spirit that makes them infallible... whether the question is textual or any other. That's not what "lead you into all truth" means.

Quote:
9.) It was deemed necessary to reject and discard the Bible of God's people as if the Holy Spirit had utterly failed and to start again with a new critical text.
This is a restatement of earlier points. Answered above.

Quote:
10.) Modern Scientific Textual Criticism is largely inconsistent with the terminology, attitude, disposition, and Biblical obedience of the historic orthodoxy of God's people.
Also a restatement. Already answered.

Quote:
11.) Finally, MSTC is not bound by Scripture therefore it is not bound. Greenlee said it best, "N.T. textual criticism...is the basic Bible study, a prerequisite to all other Biblical and theological work." (p.17) In fact the converse is true according to Greenlee, all Biblical and theological work is bound to MSTC.

By this definition of "bound," driving to work is not bound, brushing your teeth is not bound and taking the trash out is not bound.
In reality, anything a Christian does is under the authority of His Lord and the Scriptures and is bound by all applicable general principles and particular commands. You don't have to have "chapter and verse" to know when to come in out of the rain. If you can't do it via common sense, science can help. Lacking the chapter and verse does not render the activity "unbound."

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

Jay's picture

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
Satan has been trying to corrupt God's words and get God's people to doubt God's words since the garden. God's people have been dealing with this garbage for thousands of years. It is old hat for us.

The major change now is that God's people agree that God's word is corrupted and needs to be restored. Furthermore, certain texts should be doubted because there isn't enough manuscript evidence to support them.

I have been called a schismatic on these forums in the past, but the fact is the Standard Sacred Text position is the historical one and the one to which you hold Brother Blumer is a new contrivance mixed with old terminology. My profs at Westminster and Calvin knew it. My Dad’s profs at GRBBC, Westminster, and Calvin knew it and some of them admitted as much, but they desired progress over tradition. Brother Blumer is neither on the side of progess nor tradition, and the sad thing is, he doesn’t even know it.


PVK,

I don't have a lot of time, but I'm very interested to see how we can know that the changes you propose are the ones that God would have us make and not ones that Satan has been behind since the Garden.

I am also curious to know how "God's People" - by whom you evidently mean "All of God's People that agree with me, unlike the rest of you" - have agreed (Did they have a big committee meeting or something? Did I miss the vote online?) that God's Word needs to be 'restored'.

If God's Word needs to be 'restored', you are either arguing that God has not been able to preserve His word or that Satan is more powerful than God is, since he was evidently able to stop God from doing something.

Since your position seems to be that there has been only one authoritative text in history, how in the world can you say that it needs to be 'restored'? Did your one text get corrupted? If so, how do you know that? And how do you know what the right changes will be?

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

Larry's picture

Moderator

Quote:
You changed the question in post 187 from your original question. You original question was complex because to type "TR/KJV" demands that each be treated according to verba and res. So I can't just say yes, I agree or no, I don't. To do so would be elementary at least and reckless at most.
As hesitant as I am to return to this, I am going to point out several problems:

1. I didn't change the question. The question has always been the same. It regards your apparent equation of the doctrine of hell with the "sacred text position." The question has always been: Is your doctrine that you are trying to communicate here revealed as the doctrine of hell is? I am not sure why that is hard or confusing. And it shouldn't be hard for someone who claims to have studied this as much as you have. Why can't you just answer the questions?

2. The "TR/KJV" comment is some sort of red herring by you. You know exactly what the question is and don't want to answer it. You could have read the 'KJV/TR' construction as options (either/or), or you could have said you reject the construction and would answer separately for each (though that would be absurd since the TR and the KJV are, for all practical purposes, identical. The truth is that no matter whether you pick the TR, the KJV, or some other option, the answer is 'no.' The doctrine of hell is clearly revealed by God. On the other hand, God has given us no revelation on the matter of text criticism, whether your 'sacred text position' or the so-called MTSC. God simply hasn't said.

3. You improperly identify my question as complex. It isn't. Look it up. A complex question is a question that presupposes a prior question and answer. A question such as 'have you stopped beating your wife?' is complex because it presuppose the question 'do you beat your wife?' and the answer 'yes.' This question is not complex because it required no assumed previous question and answer.

4. You have consistently refused to answer questions. that's unfortunate in a discussion forum. If you want people to understand and perhaps even be persuaded by your position, then you need to address their hangups and confusions about it. I am quite confused about your position along the lines of the questions I have asked. What you say does not appear does not appear to be in line with what God says about Scripture nor with what God has evidently done through church history. The burden of proof is on you to clear this up for us.

Your last attempt to define other people's beliefs is somewhat strange. Your 'final conclusions' are aptly labeled as "yours," since it is doubtful that many would agree with them.

let me quickly hit a couple of highlights.

Quote:
1.) There is no Scripture to support modern textual theory and process, but there is Scripture to support the Spirit of God>Word of God> People of God paradigm.
The people of God today accept the eclectic text produced by MTSC. So either your paradigm is wrong or you are wrong.

Quote:
2.) There is no theology to support modern textual theory, in fact according to Warfield it is not even a matter of theology but a matter of science.
As we should expect, largely. It is hard to imagine why this is disputed. Notice through all your talking here that you have given no theology to support your own text theory, apart from the theology that is widely agreed to. I agree that the Scripture is self-attesting, that it is recognized and accepted by the people of God led by the Spirit of God, that Scripture is certain and inerrant. That is not our dispute. You are taking propositions regarding one issue and trying to apply them to a different issue.

Quote:
4.) Modern textual criticism claims to hold a position prior to and superior to that of any other Biblical endeavor [i.e. preaching and theology ].
And with good reason. until we know what the Bible is, we have nothing to preach or theologize out of. We run the risk of preaching man's words rather than God's. Even in your position, there was the necessity of textual criticism of some sort in order to establish a text. And you have to do that prior to preaching or theologizing.

Quote:
7.) God's word is to be treated like any other ancient book if the "evidence" is to be interpreted correctly.
in terms of transmission of the text this is correct, and seemingly undeniably so. The Bible was passed down just like other books of the era are, by hand copying. The evidence clearly shows that God was not pleased to supernaturally prevent errors in the copying process. The fact is that there are a multitude of manuscripts in all traditions that are not the same. That means that they were copied just like any other books were copied. There is no biblical reason to doubt this. There are biblical reasons to affirm it, and evidential reasons to affirm it.

Quote:
9.) It was deemed necessary to reject and discard the Bible of God's people as if the Holy Spirit had utterly failed and to start again with a new critical text.
Actually incorrect. The 'Bible of God's people' is largely present in the critical text. The critical text actually considers all the evidence that God has preserved for us. And the bulk of it is identical to the other texts, whether one of the majority texts or the TR.

Quote:
11.) Finally, MSTC is not bound by Scripture therefore it is not bound.
This reminds me that you seem to think you can speak truth into existence, that if you say something, it is therefore true. Even though you dogmatically state your position, that doesn't make it right. Saying that your position is 'bound by Scripture' doesn't make it so.

And this ties back to the question: If your conclusion is found in the Bible, why not just show us that? You are multiplying all kinds of words in pursuit of convincing others.

I have asked a very specific and easy question. Why the hesitance to answer it?

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Jay wrote:
If God's Word needs to be 'restored', you are either arguing that God has not been able to preserve His word or that Satan is more powerful than God is, since he was evidently able to stop God from doing something.

I don't think Peter is saying God's Word needs to be restored. That would be closer to what I'm saying... though still not quite. Because I don't think there's anything wrong with the Word. It's just our process of copying etc. that is human and imperfect. The either-or there omits other possibilities: that God is able but for reasons of His own has not chosen to do so. I would argue that this is the case with the errors that are in the MSS.

Peter wrote:
Brother Blumer is neither on the side of progess nor tradition, and the sad thing is, he doesn’t even know it.

Not sure how I missed this little gem before.
The truth is that I do not care if I'm "on the side of progress" or on the side of "tradition." What does that have to do with whether what I'm saying is true? Both "progress" and "tradition" are subject to error and being on either "side" would prove nothing about whether my position is true.
Peter's observation reveals an assumption of over reliance on human authority in the matter: one should either rest in the human authority of progress (a.k.a. "science," I assume) or one should rest in the human authority of tradition.
I'm not willing to do either if I can help it.

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

Quote:
I don't think Peter is saying God's Word needs to be restored. That would be closer to what I'm saying... though still not quite. Because I don't think there's anything wrong with the Word. It's just our process of copying etc. that is human and imperfect. The either-or there omits other possibilities: that God is able but for reasons of His own has not chosen to do so. I would argue that this is the case with the errors that are in the MSS.

I see your point, and am comfortable with problems in the copying process. I am not sure that I agree with you that God has theoretically allowed His Word to be altered, because that opens up a whole host of problems.

Peter argued that God's Word needs to be 'restored' in http://sharperiron.org/comment/37583#comment-37583 ]post #188 and elsewhere, yet he argues that God has already preserved His Word in the "Standard Sacred Text" (all throughout the thread). It seems to me that he's trying to have it both ways...that there are two "God's Word's" in his mind. There is a "God's Word" that is flawed and needs restoration, and there is the "SST-God's Word", which is "forever settled" and perfect (his words). Furthermore, his argument that "certain texts should be doubted because there isn't enough manuscript evidence to support them" merits close scrutiny as well, since he's the one arguing that there is only one inerrant and infallible authority that we currently have access to. (You and I agree that only the autographs would deserve the 'inerrant' and 'infallible' descriptions.) Finally, I think we all need to know what verses he's prepared to throw out because of the lack of manuscript evidence. That position might be consistent with what you and I would argue, but I don't see how he can logically argue it himself.

I also REALLY want to know what he means by 'restoring' the text. Is he talking about textual criticism (the kind which you and I support but he argues against as illegitimate), is he talking about some kind of reinspiration, or is he talking about something else? If the first, how is there any kind of quantifiable difference between the textual criticism that we accept and what he wants? If he is arguing for textual criticism, then how do we know that the sections he thinks of as good are really what God wants restored? I suspect that what he'd really say is that we should just accept the texts that he pronounces as 'good' without questioning how we know that.

Finally, I want to hear more about his explanation for what happened that caused God's Word to be corrupted. It seems to me that if not one jot or tittle will pass away until all is complete, then any claim that God's Word as 'corrupt' runs closely to going against God Himself.

Maybe I'll get the chance to read his latest missives this weekend and that will clear it up for me.

"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

Quote:
I am not sure that I agree with you that God has theoretically allowed His Word to be altered, because that opens up a whole host of problems.

I wouldn't personally say that His Word has been altered. Only that the text we have is altered... precisely because the copies are not error free.
He must have allowed this or it could not have happened, right?

I think the statement you are thinking of in 188 is this one...

Peter wrote:
The major change now is that God's people agree that God's word is corrupted and needs to be restored. Furthermore, certain texts should be doubted because there isn't enough manuscript evidence to support them.

I think he is describing here the position he opposes--i.e., his view of all who do not accept his traditional text view.

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:
The truth is that I do not care if I'm "on the side of progress" or on the side of "tradition." What does that have to do with whether what I'm saying is true? Both "progress" and "tradition" are subject to error and being on either "side" would prove nothing about whether my position is true.

In short, Brother Blumer has not yet posited a position but has simply questioned mine, and only until recently questioned the standard modernistic approach. Brother Blumer's position is his own, which I draw from the Greek word idios which means "one's own". This fact is extremely telling as to why Brother Blumer has yet to offer a summary of his position or verifiable quotation. Brother Blumer's position and verifiable quotation are himself. The point of this discussion was not to engage Brother Blumer's unique perspective which is ground no where except in his singular mind/reason. I find it most ironic that he has thrown out the "heresy-tinged" [whatever that means ] card which denotes schism, while at the same time being the most schismatic of us all, seeing that he holds to himself [i.e. his reason + Scripture ].

In the end Brother Blumer has confessed to being a Blumerite. You see if Brother Blumer were 90% progressive and 10% orthodox then it is very possible that like Warfield, Brother Blumer would excise that last 10% out of orthodoxy and realign it with a more progressive stance. I believe that such would be the case vice versa as well. But as of right now, the above quote demonstrates that Brother Blumer has been off topic since post #2, because it was never my intention to engage a system of belief that is held by one soul, Brother Blumer but rather to engage MSTC. Nor was it his intention to defend MSTC because it was not his position. Ultimately he just wanted to get his own ideas out there. Furthermore, because Brother Blumer's position is idios, my critiques were not directed toward him, though I did not know it at the time. In a sense it was my fault for assuming that Brother Blumer held to a progressive position, but as it turns out he holds to an idios position which when compared to MSTC is not a threat to Standard Sacred Text position seeing that his position lives and dies with him. While on the other hand, the Standard Sacred Text position did not live and die with the early Church nor has MSTC lived and died with W&H.

Now Brother Larry...

Brother Larry is about as progressive as it gets. It is his position that I have been writing against these past weeks.

Brother Larry wrote concerning the priority of textual criticism, That text criticism holds it position "with good reason. until we know what the Bible is, we have nothing to preach or theologize out of." (Post #201)

What Brother Larry has written points directly to the fact that MSTC is NOT bound by Scripture. In fact "we have nothing to preach" until MSTC has done its work. That is about as independent as you can get. How shall they hear if we are waiting for something to preach? And how do you know that what we have to preach is what we should preach seeing that MSTC comes before preaching, and MSTC has been changing its mind about what the Bible reads for 150 years, and according to W&H will continue to change indefinitely?

Let us continue, Brother Larry commented on the nature of God's word, that God's word is to be treated like every other book. "[I ]n terms of transmission of the text this is correct, and seemingly undeniably so." (Post #201) There is an aspect (i.e. transmission) in which the supernatural character of Holy Scripture is rejected just as W&H did. Once again, Scripture is not bound by Scripture, but rather God’s word is to be treated like Plato’s Republic which is by no means bound by Scripture.

Let us continue. This is my favorite one so I left to the end. It occurs in the same post but before the material above.

Brother Larry wrote,

Quote:
I agree that the Scripture is self-attesting, that it is recognized and accepted by the people of God led by the Spirit of God, that Scripture is certain and inerrant. That is not our dispute.

Brother Larry says he "agrees that the people of God are lead by the Spirit of God to believe that Scripture is certain and inerrant" (Quote 1) but then later argues in the same post he writes that "The evidence clearly shows that God was not pleased to supernaturally prevent errors in the copying process."(Quote 2) So this is what we are faced with according to Brother Larry, the Holy Spirit leads us to believe that Scripture is certain and inerrant (Quote 1), but we know there are errors in the text (Quote 2). So either the Holy Spirit is lying to us by telling us we have an inerrant Scripture when it has errors or our knowledge that there are errors in the Bible is wrong because the Holy Spirit says the Bible is without errors. Brother Larry has essentially said that God calls inerrant what is errant or we call errant what God has called inerrant.

Quote:
Isaiah 5:20-21 "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

This is most certainly our dispute seeing that the word and Spirit accompany each other. How do you get the leading of the Spirit of God to God's people if the Bible in your hand as presented by MSTC precedes the word and Spirit? This is a question of which came first the chicken or the egg and by faith and not science we know that the chicken came first. So also by faith, not science, we know that the word of God and Spirit of God precede textual criticism in order and position. W&H were wrong and you are wrong.

In sum, Brother Blumer is not arguing the topic of MSTC vs. the Standard Sacred Text position in the question of whether or not MSTC is bound or independent of Scripture because his position is his alone. In the end I don't know if anyone knows what Brother Blumer is arguing except for Brother Blumer. Brother Larry has admitted MSTC is not bound, because MSTC is not, in Whitaker's words "bound by the closest ties to a prescribed and certain rule." In fact, MSTC precedes even the Gospel in order and position seeing that we get the Gospel from the Scriptures and the Scriptures from text critical scholars.

I think that we have come to the conclusion of this topic. Fabulous job everyone! Now for a new topic...

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Larry's picture

Moderator

Wow, Peter. All that and still no answer to the questions??? How in the world can you take this much time to write a response (that makes little to no sense) and not make any attempt whatsoever to answer the questions I have asked? I am really not asking for much. I don’t want a dissertation. I just want to understand what you are saying a little better.

Quote:
Brother Larry wrote concerning the priority of textual criticism, That text criticism holds it position "with good reason. until we know what the Bible is, we have nothing to preach or theologize out of." (Post #201)

What Brother Larry has written points directly to the fact that MSTC is NOT bound by Scripture. In fact "we have nothing to preach" until MSTC has done its work.

Notice how you don’t say what I said because I didn’t say anything about MTSC. That was your change. Even in your position, you have no Bible until text criticism has done its work. Whatever text you pick has undergone the process of text criticism. The only question is the best method of text criticism. You hold to a method that the vast majority of the believing community has rejected.

The fact is that the bulk of text criticism is automatic because in God’s providence there is extreme uniformity among the textual witnesses. But as in life, any time there are two conflicting stories, you have to pick one. And that is true in all Greek texts (or Hebrew for that matter).

Furthermore, I don’t even know exactly what “bound by Scripture” means for you. I am pretty confident that you have no textual support for your position on text criticism. I think all the words you have spilled here, without any biblical references to it, make it quite clear that you are operating out of your own sense rather than the revelation of God.

Scripture gives us some evidences of how texts were transmitted and therefore what God means by “inerrant.” The fact is that the NT quotes of the OT do not seem to partake of the type of position you are arguing for here. I imagine this, along with the lack of biblical support, may be why your posts deal a lot with philosophy but little with Scripture, and why you hesitant to answer questions. It’s too hard to defend your position from Scripture itself.

Quote:
There is an aspect (i.e. transmission) in which the supernatural character of Holy Scripture is rejected just as W&H did.
You are confused. I said nothing about rejecting the supernatural character of Holy Scripture. I do no such thing, not even in an aspect. My comments were about transmission.

Perhaps we should ask you (not that we expect an answer since there are many questions yet to be answered by you), how do you account for differences in manuscripts? If there are two readings, one of them is clearly not what the original author wrote, and is therefore an error, correct? How is that different than other books that have been transmitted?

Quote:
Brother Larry says he "agrees that the people of God are lead by the Spirit of God to believe that Scripture is certain and inerrant" (Quote 1) but then later argues in the same post he writes that "The evidence clearly shows that God was not pleased to supernaturally prevent errors in the copying process."(Quote 2) So this is what we are faced with according to Brother Larry, the Holy Spirit leads us to believe that Scripture is certain and inerrant (Quote 1), but we know there are errors in the text (Quote 2). So either the Holy Spirit is lying to us by telling us we have an inerrant Scripture when it has errors or our knowledge that there are errors in the Bible is wrong because the Holy Spirit says the Bible is without errors.
Wow, that’s a particularly bad argument.

First, your own position has the same problem. No matter which text you prefer, or which method of text criticism you prefer, there are errors (since the existence of two different readings means one is wrong). So how in the world can you dispute that that there are errors in the copies we have?

Secondly, you participate in the fallacy of the excluded middle. You have defined two options on the only two options. But clearly, that is not the case. That Scripture is inerrant is a tenet of orthodoxy. That copies of Scripture have errors is a fact of history. You don’t have to like that, but that’s the way it is.

Quote:
Brother Larry has essentially said that God calls inerrant what is errant or we call errant what God has called inerrant.
Where did Brother Larry say this, even essentially? What God said was inerrant was what he inspired, what the original authors wrote.

You want to talk about being bound to a prescribed and certain rule but you can’t tell us where there rule is found in Scripture. You want to appeal to the Spirit of God leading the people of God, but I believe that. So that is not our difference.

In the end, Peter, a lot of this could be cleared up simply by answering the questions I have asked.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I'm starting to feel a little bit sorry for Peter since he's outnumbered here. Then again, he issued a challenge to an open forum.

Peter wrote:
Aaron wrote:
The truth is that I do not care if I'm "on the side of progress" or on the side of "tradition." What does that have to do with whether what I'm saying is true? Both "progress" and "tradition" are subject to error and being on either "side" would prove nothing about whether my position is true.

In short, Brother Blumer has not yet posited a position...

This one is getting pretty stale. How many times do I have to post my position? Take a look http://sharperiron.org/comment/37438#comment-37438 ]here and http://sharperiron.org/article/preservation-how-and-what-part-4 ]here .

I'd be happy to tell you more about my position if there is some particular aspect of it that isn't clear.

Peter wrote:
... but has simply questioned mine, and only until recently questioned the standard modernistic approach.

Most of the translations made from NASB onward have been made from eclectic texts. An eclectic text is not compiled using "the standard modernistic approach" if you define that term as following W & H right down the line on every point.

As for "only until recently," I said this http://sharperiron.org/comment/36407#comment-36407 ] way back on page one of this thread .

Aaron wrote:
Quite a few verses govern everything we do. If we must compare differing MSS and identify which are correct, we should do so to the glory of God (1Cor.10:31). We should do so for the edification of believers (Rom.14:19). We should do so with a determination to do the best we can to find and declare the truth (Eph. 4:25). The particular criteria are completely open to debate. I'm especially skeptical of "hardest is best" idea. But the whole process of evaluating by criteria cannot be dismissed...

Peter wrote:
This fact is extremely telling as to why Brother Blumer has yet to offer a summary of his position or verifiable quotation.

Summary... done that. Verifiable quotation... I've explained why that is not necessary. Is there something wrong with my explanation?

Peter wrote:
Brother Blumer's position and verifiable quotation are himself. The point of this discussion was not to engage Brother Blumer's unique perspective which is ground no where except in his singular mind/reason. I find it most ironic that he has thrown out the "heresy-tinged" [whatever that means ] card which denotes schism, while at the same time being the most schismatic of us all, seeing that he holds to himself [i.e. his reason + Scripture ].

I encourage readers to note that Peter apparently has no answer to my argument that there is no higher authority than Scripture. He's also changed "Scripture + reason" now to "his reason + Scripture." The former proved too difficult to reject?

As for "the point of this discussion," it was to show that "MSTC" is "bound." I've explained multiple times how believers doing textual work are in fact, "bound" by Scripture in that work.
The supposed (but not supported) uniqueness of my position is not relevant to the question.

Peter wrote:
...it was never my intention to engage a system of belief that is held by one soul, Brother Blumer but rather to engage MSTC. Nor was it his intention to defend MSTC because it was not his position.

Who says my position is not "MSTC"? The reason I asked for definitions of terms in the beginning was so that we could avoid any equivocation later.
You seemed quite willing enough until now to classify any view but your own as "MSTC."
But now, apparently, it is possible to reject the traditional text view articulated here but also not embrace "MSTC"? Who knew?

Peter wrote:
position which when compared to MSTC is not a threat to Standard Sacred Text position seeing that his position lives and dies with him.

This is an interesting line of reasoning. A view does not threaten the traditional text view because of the number of people it lives and dies with? I wonder how the number of people who believe it is relevant.

Peter wrote:
While on the other hand, the Standard Sacred Text position did not live and die with the early Church nor has MSTC lived and died with W&H.

It's not clear to me whether you believe MSTC is limited to exact and comprehensive agreement with W & H or not? Here you seem to say that a view can still be "MSTC" even if it does not perfectly align with W & H. If that's the case, why is my view not "MSTC"?

Peter wrote:
Brother Larry is about as progressive as it gets. It is his position that I have been writing against these past weeks.

How is my view different from his?

Peter wrote:
In sum, Brother Blumer is not arguing the topic of MSTC vs. the Standard Sacred Text position in the question of whether or not MSTC is bound or independent of Scripture because his position is his alone.

I'm still trying to extract a coherent argument from this.
Assertion: Aaron's position is held only by Aaron
Conclusion: Aaron's position is not MSTC and is not contrary to the traditional text view?

This requires some unstated premises, namely, "All positions held by only one person are not MSTC." That one is defensible, since we can assume that "MSTC is a position held by more than one person." But the second part of the conclusion requires the premise "All positions held by only one person are consistent with the traditional text view."

Peter wrote:
In the end I don't know if anyone knows what Brother Blumer is arguing except for Brother Blumer.

I'm not worried about that. I've made it reasonably clear.

Peter wrote:
I think that we have come to the conclusion of this topic. Fabulous job everyone!

IOW, "I give up. You win"?

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've tried to follow your (Brother Blumer and company) line of questioning and that was rejected. Then I inserted 40 or so pages of double spaced material in summarizing my position and the position of the modern text critical approach. I have answered Brother Larry's question in that the apographa is revealed as pure because the Scripture says so of itself, and the KJB is the only English translation from that apographa therefore I hold to the KJB. I have addressed all of Brother Blumer's questions and concerns. I wish there were more engaged on your side so that perhaps through your combined effort perhaps you will present something substantive.

The fact is gentlemen that you haven't the foggiest idea of what you are talking about. I bring up the tradition and you ignore it. I bring up the exegesis of particular passages as the believing community has commonly held them and you ignore it. I show orthodox theology as God's people have held to it and you ignore that. Then I bring up some foundational elements of modern text critical theory and you agree with them and then claim orthodoxy when they are in fact quite contrary to what the blood bought community held to in the past. The fact is that I could say Narnia exists and get more traction then to quote from history. Nonsense rules the day on these forums. The difficulty I am faced with is trying to tell a blind man what "blue" looks like or describe to a deaf man was the cry of a baby sounds like. You do not have the catagorites to consider or accept what I present.

The case that I am making is not my own nor is it a construction of mine. I have come to this case through believing that the Bible in my hand talks about the Bible in my hand because there is nothing in the Bible that tells me to think otherwise.

From there I began to study what God's people have said on the topic of Scripture with regard to a standard authoritative text. Those I studied include: Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, Owen, Whitaker, Willet, the Westminster Divines, Turretin, Leigh, Musculus, Boethius, Muller, Letis, Burgon, Fuller, and my Dad. I did not invent this position. It is a very old position, and I never feel ganged up on because I know that my case follows those mentioned above, so the more people that will talk with me the merrier.

In the end, we disagree, but it is not me that you disagree with for I am only a messenger of the historic orthodox tradition. You disagree with the material that got me here. The only way you can be persuaded is if you make a massive paradigm shift, and it would look something like this,

"The NIV (insert whatever version you like) is the (not "a") authoritative inspired word of God in English according to res which is based on the inspired and authentic words (all of the words not some of the words) of the standard (that is, there is only one) sacred (that is, Scripture is not like any other book) apographa (copy) of the NA 27 (insert whatever Greek/Hebrew text you like)."

Ultimately, why do I disagree with MSTC? Because the Bible (Greek and Hebrew) in my hand says the Bible in my hand is pure and MSTC says it is impure and is therefore not bound by the Scripture that says the Bible is pure. Jesus Christ said in the Bible in my hand concerning the Bible in my hand that not one jot or one tittle will pass and MSTC says that the best we can do is approximate purity therefore MSTC is not bound to the Lord's words which tell us that one jot or one tittle will never pass away. There is no reason given in Scripture to believe otherwise.

I have read Aleph and B and am very aware there are differences in mss, so my eyes are telling me there are alot of variant readings, but I begin with what the Bible in my hand is telling me about the Bible in my hand which says, despite the variations in the mss the Bible in my hand is pure down to the letter. If there is need to modify the Bible in my hand as was the case of the Geneva Bible to the KJB then I trust the Bible in my hand when it says that the Holy spirit will guide his people into all truth and because the words of God are in and of themselves truth the modification will be done by God's people through God's Spirit concerning God's words with certainty and authority not uncertainty and impotence. I then consult the way God's people have been lead by God in the past and learn from them, but ultimately my case for disagreeing with MSTC is because MSTC does not agree/is not bound by Holy Scripture (i.e. The Bible in the hand of the Church speaking by the Spirit about the Bible in the hand of the Church).

An astrophysics told me that the light of the stars tells us that the universe is 13.7 billion years old and that theistic evolution is correct but the Bible in my hand disagrees in saying that God created the universe in 6 days, so I disagree.

A philosopher told me that there is no such thing as absolute truth but the Bible in my hand disagrees in saying Jesus Christ is Truth, so I disagree.

A biologist once told me that a child at conception does not bear the traits of a person and therefore an abortion is not the death of a person and is therefore not murder, but the Bible in my hand disagree in that a child at conception is a person, so I disagree.

A non-reductive phsyicalist told me that man does not have a soul, but the Bible in my hand disagrees in saying that we Do indeed have a soul, so I disagree.

A text critic told me that the Bible in my hand has errors, but the Bible in my hand disagrees in that the Bible says that it is very pure to the letter, so I disagree.

It is really no more complicated than this.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Peter wrote:
I've tried to follow your (Brother Blumer and company) line of questioning and that was rejected.

Not rejected, countered. There's a difference.

Peter wrote:
Then I inserted 40 or so pages of double spaced material in summarizing my position and the position of the modern text critical approach. I have answered Brother Larry's question in that...

Not really. It's a yes or no question and the "in that... [etc ]" tends to be unclear. It doesn't directly relate to the OP, but it would be interesting to see what your answer to that is.

Peter wrote:
the apographa is revealed as pure because the Scripture says so of itself

Actually, it does't say "apographa" anywhere. But it's OK. What it says of itself generally applies to the apographa. What it says of itself does not include "a chosen group of believers will be able to maintain a perfect text from perfect (or imperfect, take your pick) copies. Even thousands of years later."

Peter wrote:
I have addressed all of Brother Blumer's questions and concerns. ... perhaps you will present something substantive.

I've offered multiple counterarguments for every point you have "addressed." You have not been able to answer any of them.

Peter wrote:
The fact is gentlemen that you haven't the foggiest idea of what you are talking about.

I'm quite content to let readers judge that.

Peter wrote:
I bring up the tradition and you ignore it. I bring up the exegesis of particular passages as the believing community has commonly held them and you ignore it.

What you have done, more or less, is offer supporting arguments. What I have done is show that they are unsound or invalid. This is not "ignore." Just as countering is not "rejecting," countering is not "ignoring."
(It sure has taken me alot of posts to do all that "ignoring"!)

Peter wrote:
Then I bring up some foundational elements of modern text critical theory and you agree with them and then claim orthodoxy when they are in fact quite contrary to what the blood bought community held to in the past.

The blood bought community is a community of sinners. I'm pretty sure I don't have to prove they've made a mistake or two.
But you really haven't shown that they took the position that there would never need to be adjustments to the traditional text if MS discoveries commended those adjustments. And if you look at what guys like Erasmus, Scrivener, Stephanus, Beza, et. al., actually did... it looks a lot like adjusting the text based on manuscript discoveries.

Peter wrote:
Nonsense rules the day on these forums.

Rules... no. I think we've answered it pretty well for the most part.

Peter wrote:
I have come to this case through believing that the Bible in my hand talks about the Bible in my hand because there is nothing in the Bible that tells me to think otherwise.

This argument has been answered many times. Repeating it won't make it stronger. The Bible in your hand is a copy. Everything the Bible says about itself, it says about your copy--with one exception: it does not promise that the copies made by men will be flawless.

Peter wrote:
From there I began to study what God's people have said on the topic of Scripture with regard to a standard authoritative text. Those I studied include: Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, Owen, Whitaker, Willet, the Westminster Divines, Turretin, Leigh, Musculus, Boethius, Muller, Letis, Burgon, Fuller, and my Dad.

I think it's only the last two or three in that list that really support (parts of) your view.
I've already conceded many times that the traditional text is indeed traditional. That folks recognized it as true Word of God and authoritative is not in dispute. And it's true Word of God and authoritative in my view as well.

What's much harder to prove is that those who upheld the traditional text in the old days meant to say that it was perfect in every single word and that it would never need correcting even if piles of additional manuscripts would be found later. That you haven't been able to demonstrate.

Peter wrote:
You disagree with the material that got me here.

For the most part, no. Disagree with what you believe it means and necessarily implies and with reasoning you have based on it.

Peter wrote:
The only way you can be persuaded is if you make a massive paradigm shift, and it would look something like this,
"The NIV (insert whatever version you like) is the (not "a") authoritative inspired word of God in English according to res which is based on the inspired and authentic words (all of the words not some of the words) of the standard (that is, there is only one) sacred (that is, Scripture is not like any other book) apographa (copy) of the NA 27 (insert whatever Greek/Hebrew text you like)."

I'll let others answer that one...

Now to the latter we answer, that 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.
- AV Translator's Preface

Peter wrote:
A text critic told me that the Bible in my hand has errors, but the Bible in my hand disagrees in that the Bible says that it is very pure to the letter, so I disagree.

1. Erasmus was a text critic.
2. The KJV translators were text critics (see 1611 marginal notes)
3. The Bible in your hand is a copy and nothing in it talks specifically about copies.

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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