Modern Scientific Textual Criticism - Bound or Independent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

JG wrote:
This opens the door wide open to multiple new and exciting heresies. "If the apostles had to deal with what we deal with, I'm SURE they would have said this...."

JG, I think you're missing something here. I was offering a counterargument to your argument. You argued along the lines that "Jesus didn't say 'autographs,' so we shouldn't either." My defense claimed, among other things, that Jesus was not facing the situation we are today.
Your response was that He was.
Then the part you quoted as allegedly killing sufficiency of Scripture was my response to your claim that Jesus did face this problem in His day... I said, no, He really wasn't. If it were a major heresy of the era, He and the apostles would have said something about it.

This is not any kind of sufficiency killer. It's just simple reasoning. It seems very likely that the epistles do address all the major theological and practical problems that were occurring in the churches at the time.

The fact remains that either there is a word perfect text--and we should teach that there is, or there is not a word perfect text--and we should teach that there is not.
a) The biblical evidence does not support the idea that we should expect the human part of copying, compiling to be word perfect.
b) The historical evidence is clear that there has not been a text that has gone unchanged (if it was word perfect at any point, it should not have changed after that)

As for sufficiency, nobody believes that the Bible directly addresses every doctrinal error that human beings will concoct until the eschaton. It's about 3 MB of data. There are no verses that directly address a host of issues we face today. We have to apply principles. That doesn't minimize sufficiency in the least.

There is no valid sufficiency argument for (a) claiming that the Bible teaches word-perfect text-compiling or (b) pretending we have a word-perfect text when when we know we don't.

JG wrote:
The whole point is that the Scriptural focus is on the words, not the original autographs. Always.

Doesn't work. There is no "Scripture" until what God has inspired is written down. For every single jot and tittle there is a moment when something God inspired reaches written form for the first time. This is what is meant by "autograph."
There is no separating original words from original writings.
As for the examples you mentioned, these are not a problem. The act of inspiration applies to putting God's words into writing and they are inspired up to and not beyond that act of writing.

Theopneustos, the adjective, cannot be separated from "God breathing," the action. The action happens in time and is complete at a point in time.
Translations partake of the quality of theopneustos to the degree they are faithful to what God produced when He acted to inspire.

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.

JG's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
[
JG wrote:
The whole point is that the Scriptural focus is on the words, not the original autographs. Always.

Doesn't work. There is no "Scripture" until what God has inspired is written down. For every single jot and tittle there is a moment when something God inspired reaches written form for the first time. This is what is meant by "autograph."
There is no separating original words from original writings.
As for the examples you mentioned, these are not a problem. The act of inspiration applies to putting God's words into writing and they are inspired up to and not beyond that act of writing.

Theopneustos, the adjective, cannot be separated from "God breathing," the action. The action happens in time and is complete at a point in time.
Translations partake of the quality of theopneustos to the degree they are faithful to what God produced when He acted to inspire.


The only thing with which I can concur, really, in this whole statement I've quoted is the last sentence.

II Peter 1:21 says "spoke", not written. The words were fully the Word of God, and prophecy of Scripture, before they were written. God had determined that they were to be written, He gave them for that purpose, and they were the words of Scripture as surely when Paul or Jeremiah spoke them as they were when Tertius or Baruch inscribed them.

Of course there is "separating" original words from original writings, because original writings can be destroyed but the original words can and do live on.

You have stated that God's words are not inspired beyond the act of writing. With this statement, if you still had an extant autograph, it would not be inspired, since the writing is now finished. Do you really mean that? Where in the world does the Scripture even begin to suggest such a thing? Who will agree with you on that? Is that at all what Paul was saying? Even Warfield didn't go that far. You have made the Scriptures a completely dead book. Read http://www.gracegems.org/Pink/divine_inspiration.htm Pink if you can't accept what I'm saying. This is scary stuff you are writing, Aaron.

I do not separate theopneustos from the action of God breathing at all. It is the result of God breathing. You are creating a false choice, a false dichotomy, between the act and the result.

Which copy of the stone tablets was the inspired original autograph? Which book in Jeremiah 36 was the inspired original autograph? You didn't even answer, because you don't care, and neither does anyone else. It's an irrelevant question, because the autograph is irrelevant -- it is just a vehicle.

If we had an original autograph and a perfectly accurate copy side by side, the one would have absolutely nothing the other did not have. The only thing an autograph has that any particular copy doesn't have is a divine guarantee that the words are accurate. In either case, it is only the words that matter.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I think you're not understanding what I'm saying.
The act of inspiration is what we call the Spirit's moving of "men of God."

2 Pe 1:21 NKJV 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

I probably did overstate my point slightly because I do believe that a prophet who spoke was also "inspired." But it remains true that we do not have "Scripture" (graphe) until God inspires a writer, and--in the case of writing--the inspiring happens while a document is being produced and ends when that document has been produced.

So I distinguish between the quality of inspiration and the activity of inspiration.

Once the document is "done," the act of inspiration is over. Of course the quality of "something that came by inspiration" continues.
Copies and translations have this quality to the degree they match the original document. (This is why Paul makes no distinction between "Scripture" and "copies and translations of Scripture." There is rarely any need to distinguish between the two, though sometimes there is a very strong need.)

This is not a novel view of inspiration.

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.

JG's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
This is not a novel view of inspiration.

No, what you have stated now is not novel. Your prior statement was, in stating that the words were no longer "inspired".

Where it deviates from Biblical usage, however, is in stealing the Biblical word theopneustos and turning it into only the act, which is assuredly not what it was saying in context. You are going along with Warfield (at least you are in eminent company) in his redefinition of theopneustos to what had previously been called "immediate inspiration".

Quote:
The act of inspiration is what we call the Spirit's moving of "men of God."

I can accept that. You are replacing "immediate" with "act". That's fine. But that's not what Paul is saying in II Timothy 3. He's not saying "All Scripture is act of inspiration." He's saying all Scripture is, today, a result of an act -- and thus, it has that quality. The whole reason for saying it is because he is describing the qualities of the Scriptures that Timothy has today. He's not making an interesting historical observation. Otherwise, the statement in context is pointless, absolutely pointless.

It IS novel to say that it isn't the words that matter, as you said in your last post. Bahnsen:

Quote:
So the word-groups (this phrase will be used throughout to denote the text of a piece of literature in the strict sense of words in their given relations) of particular manuscripts, as opposed to the particular parchment and ink, are predicated as “God-breathed.” It would be confused to speak of “this parchment” or “this ink” as inspired or God-breathed, for how can a parchment sheet and volume of ink be exhaled by God?

It is the words, and only the words, that matter. And the verses I cited certainly did show that the "autograph emphasis" is entirely misplaced.

You say "the inspiring... ends when that document has been produced." Have you given any consideration at all to the Biblical connotations to the breath of God, in Genesis 2:7 and other passages, to the fact that pneuma is both Spirit and wind, and the use of those words in John 3, to the living and life-giving attributes of God's Word as cited by Heb. 4:12 and I Peter 1:23, etc? Why has everyone, in multiple languages, until up to 40 years ago translated it "inspired" rather than "ex-spired"? I would never say "the inspiring ends when that document has been produced." The inspiring lives on because of the Producer of the document -- He made it a living Book when He breathed it. He breathed it into existence, and He breathed life into it. You're only getting, at the most, half of what theopneustos is saying. It's talking about that divine quality which you said continues -- and that divine quality lives in a copy and a translation, too.

We agree on this. What you call the act of inspiration, what I (and the Westminster Divines, bringing the heavyweights in on my side Lol would call immediate inspiration, only happened with original autographs (though as I've demonstrated, in some cases that's a little fuzzy). Copies were not immediately inspired, nor were translations. We're agreed. We're also agreed that the divine quality resulting from God's giving of His Word exists in copies and translations, to the extent they reflect the words that God actually gave.

Where we strongly disagree is on whether theopneustos is referring to the act, the quality, or both. I say both, with emphasis on the quality but referring to the act by implication, due to the connotations of the breath of God, the evidence of historical interpretation of the text, but more than anything the context of the passage. You say it is only the act. I don't actually see that you've given any evidence for this conclusion, or answered those questions I asked a couple of posts ago. The only reason I see you've given for saying it has to be only the act is because you say so....

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Brother Van Emmerik

As I have said there is a distinction to be made between substantia doctrina and substanita verba. Both are contained in the Greek and Hebrew while only the former is contained in the translation. When I am speaking of what God said as being every jot and tittle or very pure I am speaking of the Greek and Hebrew and the English insofar as it agrees with that Greek and Hebrew. So you are right that God did not give the words of Scripture in English. I surmise that the place where we disagree is that I believe that every bit of the Greek and Hebrew behind the KJB is the equal to the inspired text given to the ancient penmen and you do not.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote,

To Peter: there is nothing in the distinction between 'manuscript' and 'text' that in any way helps your case or weakens mine. There are differences in editions of the traditional text, just as there are differences in editions of the KJV.


The distinction between MSS and text is very important for several reasons.

1.) The Scripture does not teach that the multitude of MSS = the canon of Scripture.
2.) Theologically, Canon is necessarily a rule and measure and as such denotes codification. Therefore, to argue that "there is nothing in the distinction between 'manuscript' and 'text' is to err significantly in the doctrine of Canon.
3.) Historically, the Protestants did not take the extant number of uncodified MSS against the codified Latin Vulgate of the Roman Catholic Church and then argue the superiority of the Greek and Hebrew as "the Bible is all there we just need to find it in all of the MSS." line of reasoning. The Protestants took a codified apographa (Greek and Hebrew) against a codified Roman Catholic Latin Vulgate.

Here is my process of reasoning:

Let us pretend that I am one of very few that have come into the possession of either Erasmus' Greek NT or at another time the Geneva NT during the Renaissance or Reformation.

1.) God's word says that God's word is pure.
2.) My church receive Erasmus' first edition.
3.) My church believes Erasmus' edition is pure because the Bible says the Bible is pure.
4.) My church believes that every "jot and tittle" is there because the Bible says it is there.
5.) Later my church receives the next iteration of Erasmus' first edition in a Greek NT.
6.) Let us assume for the sake of argument that the next iteration evidences itself to be a better representation of the self-authenticating words of Scripture by the leading of the Spirit.
7.) By the leading of the Spirit it is inevitable that my church will leave off of Erasmus' first edition and will accept the next iteration because God's people desire to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit. The church does not lead the church into all truth but rather the Holy Spirit.
8.) At which point my church believes the next iteration is pure because the Bible says the Bible is pure.
9.) And my church believes that every "jot and tittle" is there because the Bible says it is there.
10.) Replace "Erasmus' first edition" and with "Geneva NT" and this in a very elementary example is how the believing community moved by faith from one iteration to the next.
11.) The belief that the Bible is 100% pure is held in the moment whether 1588 or 2011. So we can snipe at those in history because they held to prior iterations than the present one, but the fact remains that they read the Bible and believed that iteration to be pure down to every jot and tittle because the Bible said so. They submitted to the truth of Scripture as we should.
12.) The faith of those that believed their iteration was 100% pure was just as "misplaced" as those in the first century thought the Gospel of Matthew was the New Testament, because that was all they had or heard. And even then they knew from the Psalms that the NT they had ( the Gospel of Matthew) was very pure.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Quote:
Brother Bean wrote

Where does Jesus say that every jot and tittle is preserved a book?

Matthew 5:17-18 17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

I believe that verse 17 is speaking of the law (a real book) and the prophets (a real book) and that Christ's combining of these two speaks of the entire OT (a book). Then Christ speaking in verse 18 says that so long as there is literal real creation (heaven and earth which now exists) not one jot or one tittle will pass from the real book mentioned in verse 17 until everything in the real book of the OT is fulfilled which has yet to come to pass seeing that things treated last (Eschatology) still remain.

Reference to the law is to the real record of the law on earth. Reference to the prophets is to the real recorded prophets on earth. Reference to heaven and earth is to real heaven and earth. Reference to "the law" in "no wise pass from the law" regards the real record of the law on earth. Reference to "fulfill" is in regard to fulfillment of the real recorded OT. Therefore I take "jot and tittle" to mean real jots and tittles.

Quote:
Brother JayC wrote concerning one of my posts,

That's why he can't answer the question about what happens with the 'believing community' that disagrees with his SST.

One thing that happens is that the believing community discusses it on SI when the believing community disagrees with the Standard Sacred Text position. Of course you know, there are times when parts of the believing community do not submit to Scripture. Some saints resist baptism which is the first act of obedience after salvation, perhaps out of a lack of spiritual maturity. Some saints get divorced even when the Bible does not support their action. Some saints forsake the assembly for a time once again perhaps out of a lack of spiritual maturity or perhaps resentment of some sort. Some saints lie and cheat. Some saints bring Rock n Roll into their churches. Some saints commit fornication or adultery.
Given this truth I do not need to make a caveat when saying the believing community stands against divorce, fornication, and lying even though some in its midst do such things. In like manner I should need to make a caveat for the exception which did not hold to the iteration of the believing community at a given time or for the nature of process which in every case was hardly more than a generation. Even then the differences between saints on a particular iteration is more like the growing/maturing of a saint in obedience like in the case of the saint who has not yet baptized.
The believing community as it traversed over these Greek texts and English translations was in a unique situation in that all that existed was the Bible of Rome - the Latin Vulgate. The believing community was on a terribly steep learning curve. There were no English Bibles and the Greek was severely limited until principle work of Erasmus brought it from the Eastern Church. We now have had the English Bible for nearly 500 years and there is one tradition of Greek/Hebrew apographa and English translation that has remained through those years which has never been the possession of the Ecclesiastical or Academic elites but rather has been the possession of the believing community by the leading of the Holy Spirit and that tradition is the King James Bible tradition.

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote,

There is no "Scripture" until what God has inspired is written down. For every single jot and tittle there is a moment when something God inspired reaches written form for the first time. This is what is meant by "autograph."
There is no separating original words from original writings.

Sure there is, "thy word is settled in heaven" in the mind of God, right? Here the original words are separate from the original writing. It is about the words and not so much the pen and paper according to you, so why are you arguing this.

Brother Blumer, why is it ok according to you for me to say, "The Bible in my hand has its corruptions but God has promised that His word is pure as it is settled in Heaven." but I cannot say, "The message of salvation has its corruptions but God has promised that His message is pure as it is settled in Heaven."? Both use Ps. 119:89 as their basis of certainty and both have guaranteed purity of the text and message.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

JG wrote:
No, what you have stated now is not novel. Your prior statement was, in stating that the words were no longer "inspired".

I never said "no longer inspired."
I said "they are inspired up to and not beyond that act of writing." This refers to the act, not the quality. In other words, God breathed out the Scriptures and when they were done, He was no longer breathing them out.

JG wrote:
... in stealing the Biblical word theopneustos and turning it into only the act, which is assuredly not what it was saying in context.

I just want to be understood on these points. I think they have very little relevance to the traditional text notion Peter's been defending.
But I don't limit theopneustos to the act. I just refrain from separating it from the act. Theopneustos is "the quality of having been breathed out by God."

I can't remember now what any of this has to do with claiming that the traditional text is word perfect or that there is a group of special people ("the believing community insofar as it agrees with me") who can produce a word perfect text... even though the text they claim is word-perfect has undergone several changes in wording.

JG wrote:
...describing the qualities of the Scriptures that Timothy has today. He's not making an interesting historical observation. Otherwise, the statement in context is pointless, absolutely pointless.

The fact that Timothy's Bible could rightfully claim the quality of theopneustos isn't in dispute. Every translation and copy is "inspired" (has that quality) to the degree that it is faithful to what God "inspired" (the act). And, to repeat, there is rarely any reason to distinguish copy/translation from "original words" or "original documents" (the argument holds either way).
But when people start to claim that a particular text or translation has an exclusive claim to "inspiration," this is an error that has to refuted. And this is why most modern statements include the "autographa" reference... and why it's good that they do.

JG wrote:
It IS novel to say that it isn't the words that matter, as you said in your last post.

I don't know how you're getting that.
Note the difference between these two statements:
Statement A: There is no point in trying to separate "original words" from "original documents." We don't have "Scripture" until the words are written down.
Statement B: The words don't matter.

JG wrote:
You say "the inspiring... ends when that document has been produced." Have you given any consideration at all to the Biblical connotations to the breath of God, in Genesis 2:7 and other passages, to the fact that pneuma is both Spirit and wind, and the use of those words in John 3, to the living and life-giving attributes of God's Word as cited by Heb. 4:12 and I Peter 1:23, etc? Why has everyone, in multiple languages, until up to 40 years ago translated it "inspired" rather than "ex-spired"? I would never say "the inspiring ends when that document has been produced." The inspiring lives on....

I really hope you're just equivocating here, because that would be much better than inventing a strange new theory of inspiration. "Inspiring lives on"... what does that mean? God is still breathing out the Scriptures?

If we maintain that we have all of the Scriptures, "the inspiring" is most certainly not living on.
The "inspired" quality does, of course. I've never been the least bit interested in denying that.

It boggles my mind why anyone would want to use this kind of confusing language about inspiration... and then turn around and affirm the Westminster Divines...

JG wrote:
What you call the act of inspiration, what I (and the Westminster Divines, bringing the heavyweights in on my side ...would call immediate inspiration, only happened with original autographs (though as I've demonstrated, in some cases that's a little fuzzy). Copies were not immediately inspired, nor were translations. We're agreed. We're also agreed that the divine quality resulting from God's giving of His Word exists in copies and translations, to the extent they reflect the words that God actually gave.

It appears that we disagree about nothing, then.... except that you don't seem to think people who believe this should say so?

JG wrote:
Where we strongly disagree is on whether theopneustos is referring to the act, the quality, or both. I say both,

So do I.

You've granted that God only breathed out the original words and that these words were written down under inspiration only once.
So why would someone who believes that want to find fault with openly taking that view by saying "autographs" in doctrinal statements? The only difference I can see is that these statements express the doctrine succinctly, while your expression is a tangle of confusion.... "We believe in the one-time inspiration of the autographa but don't believe anybody should just come out and say that... because if they say it, even once, it's an unbiblical emphasis on uncertainty... and it's much better to throw around confusion-breeding statements like 'the inspiring lives on.'"
I don't get it.
I think Peter's view is very weak and self contradictory, but I can at least understand why he holds 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.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Peter wrote:
1.) God's word says that God's word is pure.
2.) My church receive Erasmus' first edition.
3.) My church believes Erasmus' edition is pure because the Bible says the Bible is pure.
4.) My church believes that every "jot and tittle" is there because the Bible says it is there.
5.) Later my church receives the next iteration of Erasmus' first edition in a Greek NT.
6.) Let us assume for the sake of argument that the next iteration evidences itself to be a better representation of the self-authenticating words of Scripture by the leading of the Spirit.
7.) By the leading of the Spirit it is inevitable that my church will leave off of Erasmus' first edition and will accept the next iteration because God's people desire to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit. The church does not lead the church into all truth but rather the Holy Spirit.

Peter, do you really not not see how self-contradictory this view is?
In your scenario, if the church believed at #3 that Erasmus' edition1 was "very pure" (by your definition, "containing every single word God originally inspired") it was mistaken, wrong, in error. It's text could not be word perfect at #3 and still be word perfect at #7.

No number of references to self authentication and Holy Spirit and believing community and text vs. MS and Turretin and historical position and Westcott/Hort and MSTC or anything else can fix that.

Your view is self-refuting... so I really should stop refuting it, shouldn't I? That would be the sensible thing to do.

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:
Quote:
Brother JayC wrote concerning one of my posts,

That's why he can't answer the question about what happens with the 'believing community' that disagrees with his SST.

One thing that happens is that the believing community discusses it on SI when the believing community disagrees with the Standard Sacred Text position. Of course you know, there are times when parts of the believing community do not submit to Scripture. Some saints resist baptism which is the first act of obedience after salvation, perhaps out of a lack of spiritual maturity. Some saints get divorced even when the Bible does not support their action. Some saints forsake the assembly for a time once again perhaps out of a lack of spiritual maturity or perhaps resentment of some sort. Some saints lie and cheat. Some saints bring Rock n Roll into their churches. Some saints commit fornication or adultery.

Given this truth I do not need to make a caveat when saying the believing community stands against divorce, fornication, and lying even though some in its midst do such things. In like manner I should need to make a caveat for the exception which did not hold to the iteration of the believing community at a given time or for the nature of process which in every case was hardly more than a generation. Even then the differences between saints on a particular iteration is more like the growing/maturing of a saint in obedience like in the case of the saint who has not yet baptized.

The believing community as it traversed over these Greek texts and English translations was in a unique situation in that all that existed was the Bible of Rome - the Latin Vulgate. The believing community was on a terribly steep learning curve. There were no English Bibles and the Greek was severely limited until principle work of Erasmus brought it from the Eastern Church. We now have had the English Bible for nearly 500 years and there is one tradition of Greek/Hebrew apographa and English translation that has remained through those years which has never been the possession of the Ecclesiastical or Academic elites but rather has been the possession of the believing community by the leading of the Holy Spirit and that tradition is the King James Bible tradition.


But HOW do you know that the KJB tradition is the one that God wants us to follow?

You keep going back to "the believing community says so". That's not a good enough reason if you are going to posit that God is divinely preserving the texts that underlie one translation. That's why my initial questions ( http://sharperiron.org/comment/36596#comment-36596 ]Post #67 ) were:

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

You've made a bunch of assertions that this is what happened, but you cannot substantiate those assertions, and you cannot provide any kind of leadership on how your theory will work in the future, which is why I keep asking about how we recognize which version is best in 1,000 years, or where there is any kind of church historian (other than Turretin and Hoornbeeck, whom you've already referenced) that develops this theory. Instead we get verbose non-answers like "God will make it known" or "We can't question God's actions in preserving the texts and how/why He does what he does". Granted, those aren't direct quotes of yours, but that's ultimately what it boils down to, and that's why I am concerned about this topic and won't stop posting in this thread.

I don't claim that I have any kind of perfect understanding of how this all works, but I'm a whole lot more comfortable with saying "God has spoken, it's contained in the Bible, and we can trust and rely on the translations that we have" - because at the end of the day, only God knows what the originals said. My curiosity for how the process worked does not give me liberty to start saying what and how God did things. That's God's prerogative, not mine. My only option is to obey His commands to teach and make disciples, which is why I wrote http://sharperiron.org/comment/38851#comment-38851 ]post #258 .

My personal opinion is that God destroyed the originals, just like he did the bronze serpent (2 Kings 18:4), in order to keep us from being more obsessed with them than we are about God. But that doesn't shake my faith in the Word one bit.

"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

JG's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

I never said "no longer inspired."
I said "they are inspired up to and not beyond that act of writing." This refers to the act, not the quality. In other words, God breathed out the Scriptures and when they were done, He was no longer breathing them out.

Thank you for clarifying. To an extent we've been talking at cross purposes.

The statement was, "The act of inspiration applies to putting God's words into writing and they are inspired up to and not beyond that act of writing." In case you care, the confusion came from saying "they are" about the words, giving the impression you were talking about the present quality of the words rather than the historical act.

Aaron Blumer wrote:
JG wrote:
... in stealing the Biblical word theopneustos and turning it into only the act, which is assuredly not what it was saying in context.

I just want to be understood on these points. I think they have very little relevance to the traditional text notion Peter's been defending.
But I don't limit theopneustos to the act. I just refrain from separating it from the act. Theopneustos is "the quality of having been breathed out by God."

The fact that Timothy's Bible could rightfully claim the quality of theopneustos isn't in dispute. Every translation and copy is "inspired" (has that quality) to the degree that it is faithful to what God "inspired" (the act).


Excellent. You did previously say that Paul didn't apply theopneustos to Timothy's Bible. So you then agree after all that theopneustos is not limited to the autographs? Much better.

You aren't correct that it "isn't in dispute," though. Warfield and many others deny it. Several of my professors at BJU denied it. "You can't apply theopneustos to a translation." Dr. Combs at Detroit denied it on these forums years ago, before the crash. When you denied that Paul applied it to Timothy's Bible, I thought you were following that line of thinking. I understand entirely why they say what they say, because they are focused on the act -- but theopneustos is much more than the act.

Aaron Blumer wrote:
JG wrote:
It IS novel to say that it isn't the words that matter, as you said in your last post.

I don't know how you're getting that.
Note the difference between these two statements:
Statement A: There is no point in trying to separate "original words" from "original documents." We don't have "Scripture" until the words are written down.
Statement B: The words don't matter.

It's pretty simple how I got that. This one is fun. Smile First, look back at the post. You quoted my statement: "The whole point is that the Scriptural focus is on the words, not the original autographs. Always." That statement of mine was made in the context of arguing that it is the words that matter, not the piece of paper. You're response was, "Doesn't work."

Now, look what you've done here. To quote my friend Aaron, "note the difference between these two statements":
Statement A: It is novel to say that it isn't the words that matter. (this was me)
Statement B: The words don't matter. (this is your characterization of those words Lol

We're obviously talking past each other here to an extent. So trying to cut through it, I'll restate more fully.

It is only the words that matter. Those words were inspired "prophecy of Scripture" when Jeremiah "spoke" (II Peter 1:21) each word a moment before Baruch got it inscribed on the scroll. The words were prophecy of Scripture once they were written on the scroll, and they still were when the scroll was burned. They were still inspired prophecy of Scripture when they existed on no scroll at all, but God had decreed that they would be preserved and re-inscripturated. They hadn't ceased to be inspired, to be prophecy, to be God's Word, to be part of Scripture, they had just temporarily ceased to be extantly written, and God was going to deal with that in short order. They still were inspired when Jeremiah spoke them again word for word, in the moment before Baruch wrote, and still inspired after he wrote. And they were still inspired prophecy of Scripture when this second scroll also ceased to exist, and they had been copied onto other manuscripts. Inscripturation on the scroll did not make them any more the Word of God, any more inspired, or any more prophecy of Scripture than they were in the moments before they were written down, or in the time between destruction of the scroll and re=inscripturation. Nor does recording them on any other media, paper or otherwise, make any difference. If they are the words God gave, they are fully inspired because they are the words God gave. It doesn't matter on which piece of paper they appear. It is the words that matter.

If you don't agree with that, if you say "Doesn't work," it is indeed novel. If you do agree, then we've just been talking past each other.

The "how" doesn't matter much at all. Did God write it with His finger, or enable Moses to accurately inscribe on a scroll what He had written in stone with His finger, or give an angel a message to carry, or directly dictate it, or sovereignly mold a man's writing style and life experiences to fit him to write God's Word? Yes, yes, and yes -- all of the above, and more. Maybe He gave Jeremiah a photographic memory so he could recreate the original scroll perfectly, or maybe He miraculously and temporarily gave him perfect recall -- "inspired re-inscripturation". How exactly can we even talk about God physically writing on stone tablets? How knows or cares how it happened? The Scripture gives the "how" very, very little focus. Talking about autographs is focused on "how". The Scriptures are without fail interested in the "what", not the "how", the product, the words, which are God's.

JG's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
JG wrote:
I would never say "the inspiring ends when that document has been produced." The inspiring lives on....

I really hope you're just equivocating here, because that would be much better than inventing a strange new theory of inspiration. "Inspiring lives on"... what does that mean? God is still breathing out the Scriptures?

I probably should not have used that terminology, because it is obvious that you either haven't read what I linked to, or didn't really follow it. If you had, even if you didn't agree, you'd have approached this conversation differently. So that terminology only caused confusion. I'm not going to recreate everything here, but I'll give a little bit.

The word is derived from pneo. So is pneuma (wind, spirit, breath). God's breath is the breath of life life (Gen 2:7, etc) and man goes on breathing. God's pneuma/Pneuma gives spiritual life (John 3, where we have a play on words with wind/Spirit, both are pneuma, but so is breath). Jesus' words are "pneuma and life" (John 6:63). The Word of God is living (Heb. 4:12) -- it has been in-breathed, breathed into by God. Living, it is also life-giving (I Peter 1:23, and other passages). The Scriptures were breathed into existence by God, and He breathed life into them. Thus, they are the living breath of God, which breathes spiritual life into us. They are the living conduit, if you will, by which the life-giving pneuma (breath) of God is conveyed to us that we might live. Everything I have stated there is manifestly Biblical, not a strange new theory. (I'm not denying the personhood of the pneuma, Holy Spirit, just to be clear. I'm saying that the Scriptures not only were made by the pneuma (breath) of God, but they also contain and impart the life-giving breath of God. Pneuma means breath as well as referring to the Holy Spirit.)

Historically, this is what people understood theopneustos to mean. This is why translations from the Peshitta and Vulgate on down, including all English translations until the NIV, used "in-spired" (breathed into) instead of "ex-spired" (breathed out). It is, as near as I can tell, what was generally believed until Warfield redefined theopneustos. (I've stated that several times, and people who have had their thinking on inspiration framed largely by Warfield never seem to give it a thought. Interesting. You would think people would either investigate or refute that statement. Since Warfield said his definition wasn't the Biblical usage, you'd think people who have drunk at his well would want to re-think their understanding of the word.)

Thus, "the inspiring goes on" in the sense that the Scriptures are and continue to be the conduit of the life-giving breath of God which is given to us. What God started when He breathed into the Scriptures hasn't stopped.

I'm arguing that theopneustos means in-spiration. You are advocating that it means ex-spiration, that the Scriptures are special because they were breathed out by God, but that action of God really finished when He completed the act of giving them. My view is that God breathed into the Scriptures and they still breathe the breath of God, living and life-giving, and that this is the force of the word as it describes the divine nature/quality of the Scriptures. My view is very ancient, and has excellent Biblical support in the context and the connotations of pneo. Yours is approximately 130 years old, and I can't see that anyone has ever provided any sound exegetical or linguistic reasons for the change. Warfield shifted for theological purposes without giving any real exegetical reason for doing so.

Not persuaded? I'm not surprised. We've been taught that Warfield is the gold standard on inspiration. FWIW, my uncle, who teaches theology in a Reformed seminary, told me not long ago, "Warfield is great on everything -- except inspiration." Pink didn't buy it, either. It's not just one wacky guy, nor is it only KJVOers, who are saying, "Wait a minute!"

JG's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
JG wrote:
What you call the act of inspiration, what I (and the Westminster Divines, bringing the heavyweights in on my side ...would call immediate inspiration, only happened with original autographs (though as I've demonstrated, in some cases that's a little fuzzy). Copies were not immediately inspired, nor were translations. We're agreed. We're also agreed that the divine quality resulting from God's giving of His Word exists in copies and translations, to the extent they reflect the words that God actually gave.

It appears that we disagree about nothing, then.... except that you don't seem to think people who believe this should say so?

Now we'll get back to why I got involved in this thread in the first place. We agree on manuscript copies apparently, but people reading your words wouldn't think so. They would think that manuscript copies aren't inspired, because you use the Biblical term (inspiration) to describe the act, when it means more than that. Now that I pushed on it, you are talking about the "act of inspiration", which certainly helps. "Immediate inspiration" was used historically. I somewhat prefer "inspired inscripturation", because that puts the focus on the process of writing more sharply, but whatever....

But our real disagreement is on focus. You are focused on manuscripts, but I focus on text, on words. The words are inspired. Peter focuses on text. So do the Scriptures. Every statement in the Scriptures about their nature focuses on the text, the words, not on particular manuscripts. Manuscripts have errors, but God's words are not manuscripts -- those are only vehicles. Peter isn't arguing (I don't think he is, anyway) that any one manuscript is perfect, nor am I, nor do the Scriptures -- the Scriptural writers aren't interested in that. They are interested in the text, the words.

I fully understand the difficulty, but when we focus on manuscripts, we focus on difficulties, and that is not what the Scriptures do. They focus on the certainty and authority of the text. Everyone knows a manuscript can be inaccurate. If we focus on words, we don't have to make disclaimers. The words God gave are inspired, living, inerrant, divine, authoritative, sure, pure, etc. And every Scriptural statement about them operates under the assumption that we have those words. It doesn't say every (or any) manuscript is perfect, but that's not relevant to the apostolic writers, or to Christ. They didn't need to go there for some reason, not once, but we do for some reason. It was as much a part of reality back then as it is now. There were manuscript differences back then (not all the Dead Sea Scrolls are entirely in agreement with each other, for instance,), and obviously there were translational issues. They weren't bothered, because God had given His Word and He was preserving it and ensuring that His people had it, so they could speak of it with certainty. The divine nature that He had imparted to His Word was even present in translations, so they didn't even have to make disclaimers there (though at times they certainly departed from the LXX when quoting the OT).

The surety with which Christ and the apostles spoke of the Scriptures only supports Peter's argument for the Scriptural doctrine of perfect preservation (if not every aspect of Peter's application of it). Anyone reading the statements of Christ and the apostles, of KJVOers, and of KJVO opponents would think that the first two groups are on the same page. That is because KJVO opponents have too often wrongly conceded the point. Perfect preservation is not a KJVO doctrine, even though they claim it for their own and their opponents cede it to them. It is a Biblical doctrine. One does not have to accept the KJVO application of the doctrine to accept the doctrine.

Furthermore, Peter is 100% correct that the Scriptures are self-attesting, and that therefore the first place to look, when there is any question of the correct text, is to what the believing community accepts as Scripture. The principles of modern textual criticism are not found in Scripture, and some of them are simply ludicrous to apply to Scripture, while the Bible clearly teaches of self-attestation and/or the attestation of the Spirit to the Word.

What Peter hasn't engaged with as well as I would like is the difficulty, at times, of determining in some few cases exactly what the believing community has attested. There are TR differences. How are you going to decide which is the reading which the believing community has attested? Which TR is right? What if the newest TR was accepted by the believing community because it got 10 out of 12 changes right, rather than all 12? There are differences between the majority text and the TR. Why do we decide for the TR when the believing community, before the TR, appeared to be attesting the majority text? There are some cases where the "majority" is hard to determine. What is the attestation of the believing community in such a case? Etc.

I don't think it is always quite so easy. I'm glad you and others have raised the issue. I'd like to see it answered. I am persuaded (have been for years) that he is correct on the theological questions of preservation and attestation, and that those theological answers resolve 95% or more of disputed readings. I'm not sure he's answered practically how we apply that theological answer when the voice of the believing community is somewhat divided.

Certainly, believers can be mistaken, and the widespread acceptance of a naturalistic view of text transmission and textual criticism has badly tainted the response of the believing community in the last 100 years. I am very strongly on the traditional text side of things, but I'm not persuaded that it is quite as simple or straightforward as Peter is saying.

My main point still stands, however. His statements sound like the Scriptural statements of certainty about text (not manuscripts, text). Yours don't. In part, that is because the way you write on this topic has been influenced by an "autograph-only" view of inspiration which is not Biblical. That's why I raised the topic. I'm glad, in this latest posting of yours talking about the quality of inspiration, you've made it clear that you haven't fully bought into that view, but I can see its influence in a lot of things you've said. In part, I suspect, it is because you are not entirely in tune with the way Christ and the apostles saw the doctrine of preservation.

In any event, thank you for the discussion.

Greg Long's picture

Just today I was reading a http://www.proginosko.com/docs/wcf_lbcf.html comparison of the 1646 WCF and the 1689 LBCF . I was interested to read the follow paragraph which is identical in both confessions:

Quote:
8. 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 authentic; so as in all controversies of religion, the church is finally to appeal to them. But because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have a right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded in the fear of God to read and search them, therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come, that the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship him in an acceptable manner, and through patience and comfort of the Scriptures may have hope.
Notice the highlighted portion. It seems to distinguish between "immediate inspir[ation ]" of the original writings and the subsequent preservation and translation of God's Word.

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

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

JG's picture

That's exactly correct. They didn't limit "inspiration" (a Scriptural term) to the autographs. They used a technical term, "immediate inspiration", to refer to the act of inspiration.

But they also believed in perfect preservation ("kept pure"), though they did not focus so much on exactly how that was done.

Greg Long's picture

OK, but I'm still not sure how that differs from Aaron's view or Warfield's view.

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

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Quote:
Brother Blumer wrote,

Peter, do you really not see how self-contradictory this view is?...Your view is self-refuting... so I really should stop refuting it, shouldn't I? That would be the sensible thing to do.

II Timothy 3:16 says "All Scripture", but in the historic context of the verse Paul's direct referent is the O.T. of which only copies existed. II Timothy is arguably the last of Paul's epistles, which means the inspired text of Matthew, Romans, I and II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I and II Thessalonians are all inspired Scripture in circulation within the believing community, but certainly not possessed and codified by the whole believing community in the ANE.

Would it have been wrong for an ancient Christian who only had Romans and the O.T. to say, My copy of God's word is pure and without error because the Bible says so, even after he received Ephesians 50 years later? No, of course not. Or would you call that soul's faith into question as well? Why then is it wrong for a 15th century saint to say that his Greek and Hebrew are pure and without error even after 10 years when he comes to trust that next iteration? It wouldn't be.

So then you say, see the believing community existed without every word and still said their Bibles were pure and without error. I agree. The difference is this. Once the 66 book canon had been compiled the ancient saint could no longer hold that his O.T. + Matthew was all of the Bible. His Bible now by definition was incomplete and he must accept the other 26 books of the NT as Scripture. So also once the next iteration of the Greek N.T. manifests itself to be the self-attesting, self-authenticating, and self-interpreting word of God, more so than the previous then history shows that in a generation's time or less the previous iteration has been laid aside and the next had been incorporated into the religious practices of Protestantism.

Side Note 1:So now a question, Did modern text critical theory begin with the text of the believing community as a basis from which to continue the traditional text iterations or did they begin from scratch and reevaluate each MS? The answer is the latter. In fact, Griesbach who was most revered by W&H, disparaged the orthodox text and Hort went so far as to call the text of the believing community vile.

Side Note 2: So I conclude that what modern text critical theory did was take us backward from a codified standard sacred text to a multitude of Greek and English text none of which are considered to be codified let alone standard by the linguists or the believing community. In addition, this is why I say tongue and cheek that such thinking is taking us back to the Dark Ages where the codified standard sacred text was embattled and suppressed by the sacral-society that is Rome. The believing community thrived on the TR/KJB tradition from the persecution of Rome and being burned at the stake to the great revivals of North America and still amidst this, modern text critical theory started a new track so now we have the TR and the NA/UBS.

Back on track. In the present discussion we are in the realm of words and not whole books but the mechanism for the believing community receiving them as authentia is the same - the Holy Spirit working in His people concerning His words. When the second iteration replaced the first it should not be construed that God's people misplaced their faith in a work that was in progress as much as ancient saints put their faith in a canon that was still in the process of codification.

My view is only as self-refuting as an ancient Christian who only had the OT and maybe one or two books of the NT but still maintained his Bible to be pure and without error. If purity, certainty, and authority can be said with entire books "missing" from the canon, then it certainly can be said if some scholars purport to have found some errors, omissions, elisions, conflations etc. I say purport because even those who don't thing the Masoretic Hebrew and TR are word for word the word of God, do not know with certainty that said texts are not so, thus at very least it is rationally permissible for the T.R. to be word for word the inspired autograph.

Saints are not perfect, nor have I ever said such a thing. In fact in my last post I gave examples of the propensity of saints to sin. What I have said is this, God's words are substantively different than man's words i.e. unique with specific regard to their divinity (II Timothy 3:16). Saints regularly submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit in their lives whether it be to take a job or marry girl X or boy Y (Ephesians 5:18). These unique words are God's and are therefore autopistos, trust-worthy in and of themselves. That is to say, God alone is a fit witness unto Himself. (Jeremiah 23:21-22 and 29:23). Now we put it together, saints submit to the leading of God in the person of the Spirit regarding these unique words and accept them as what they are, God's words. Man's words are not divinely unique therefore this process does not apply to them. Man's words are not God's therefore this process does not apply to them. Man's words are not trustworthy in and of themselves, therefore this process does not apply to them.

Quote:
Brother Jay C wrote

But HOW do you know that the KJB tradition is the one that God wants us to follow?
You keep going back to "the believing community says so". That's not a good enough reason if you are going to posit that God is divinely preserving the texts that underlie one translation.

My first reply is, How do you know it is not? If it is the undisputed traditional text of the believing community of the English speaking world for nearly 400 years, why do I have to prove that it is. I'll let history speak for itself. It seems the burden of proof for why we need to abandon that tradition rest with you.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Your questions Brother Jay C

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

The King James Bible is the final product as of now. As for the conclusion, I do not know the movement of the Spirit for the unforeseeable future.

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

We know that they are not Satan's words the same way we know our salvation is not of Satan, by the Holy Spirit bearing witness with our spirit through the words of God.

If you disagree I pose this question. How do you know that the salvation message of the Bible is not just lies from Satan?

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

Such a thing can happen. The Holy Spirit by the word of God would direct His people to do such a thing. In fact, the English of the 1611 KJB was older than the English read and spoken by English speakers of 1611, so it appears the Holy Spirit lead His people to accept the opposite of "updated language".

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

While the believing community will change in that dead saints will be replaced with the living saints; the Holy Spirit cannot change nor will His word in the apographa. The translation may receive an update and a new name but the substantia doctrina will be the same and the unchanging substantia verba and doctrina of the standard sacred apographa will be its basis.

Quote:
Brother Jay C wrote,

...where there is any kind of church historian (other than Turretin and Hoornbeeck, whom you've already referenced) that develops this theory.

I will try to make this as clear as possible. To say Turretin is simply a historian is to ignore the historical significance of the work. Turretin's Institutes are representative of the formulation of Protestant Scholasticism or High Orthodoxy in the late 16th and early 17th century even until the mid-19th century. To say, are there "any kind of church historian (other than Turretin.." is to pretend that his voice is his alone. It is like saying, the Westminster Confession of Faith is only one voice, so I need you to show me more sources before I can believe this was the position of the Church. Turretin's Institutes were perhaps the first comprehensive systematic theology of Protestant dogma, which he then taught at the Academy of Geneva and remained the mainstay of the theological community through mid-19th century Princeton. Do not take Turretin alone. He represents the theology of the Protestant movement of his time which is not a theory, but sacred doctrine held by God's people.
In addition to quoting Turretin for the representative quality of the work, I also quote from him because I know him the best of all the systematic theologies I have read. I have more underlines, checks, dog-eared pages, and highlights in Vol. 1 than any of my other books. In fact the print on the spine of Vol. 1 has begun to fade because of use. So I hope you can see that I quote from him because he most readily comes to my mind.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

JG's picture

The Westminster Divines, London Confessions, Turretin, etc., used "immediate inspiration" rather than "inspiration" to refer to the "autograph-only" act. They considered copies to be fully inspired (quality) where accurate. Spurgeon made similar statements. Up until Warfield, "inspiration" was either the quality or combined the act and the quality. Inspiration / theopneustos was never only the act.

Warfield / A.A. Hodge made inspiration / theopneustos only the act. They specifically said they were narrowing the usage beyond historical usage, and admitted in not quite so many words that they were narrowing it beyond Biblical usage as well. Thus, since only originals were "immediately inspired," and Warfield redefined "inspiration" / theopneustos to be equal to "immediately inspired", for Warfield only the originals were inspired. Warfield would have rejected the statement you made earlier, that you can say the Bible you hold is inspired. Inspiration is something that only applies to the autographs -- and many seminaries/theologians today will say the same.

Now that Aaron has clarified, I believe he holds a much better view than Warfield's. He is willing to talk about inspiration (quality) as extending beyond the originals. He still talks about inspiration (act) as being limited to the originals, which is accurate, but in my opinion a non-optimal use of a Biblical word (inspiration). But I don't really disagree with his statement, and I think it is pretty close to the Westminster Divines as well, now that he's clarified. I just think his terminology could use some sharpening, especially because we live in a world where Warfield and many contemporary theologians limit theopneustos / inspiration only to the originals.

Aaron, I would guess, thinks my terminology may be giving "comfort" to a KJVO double inspiration heresy. I think his terminology is lending support, whether he means to or not, to a "dead Bible" error which at least implies that the divine quality is limited to manuscripts that don't exist any more. I recognise his concern, but my answer is that I'm using the word theopneustos the way Paul did, and the solution is not to reject that usage, but rather to reject second act of inspiration abuses of it.

I'm guessing Aaron likes the term "derived inspiration." Dr. McCune uses that in his Systematic Theology, and Bahnsen said something similar. I understand why -- the divine nature is "derived" from the original act. So I agree with what they are saying, but disagree with the terminology, because it isn't consistent with the Biblical usage of theopneustos. It obviously implies the act, but it is primarily focused on the nature which resulted from that act. Grammar, context, and connotations point that way, and the history of the interpretation does, too (until 1881, anyway).

Perhaps this approach will help demonstrate.

Westminster Divines/Turretin/Pink (and little old me ;)):

Original act (autographs) is called "immediate inspiration". (I prefer "inspired inscripturation", but won't quibble).
Continuing quality (in successor mss as well) resulting from original act is called "inspiration" / theopneustos.

Warfield / A.A. Hodge / at least two of my BJU professors / many other theologians:

Original act (autographs) is called "inspiration" / theopneustos. (admitted to redefining the word narrowly)
Continuing quality (in successor mss) -- "Word of God", but you can't use "inspired", because inspiration refers only to the original act, and applies only to the original autographs

McCune / Bahnsen:

Original act (autographs) is called "inspiration" / theopneustos.
Continuing quality (copies, even to an extent translations) is called "derived inspiration".

Aaron is mostly in group three, I think. He'll obviously speak for himself, but I'm going to give my impression because that's the best way for me to find out if I'm reading him right, and so he can shoot me down if I'm an idiot, which happens more often than I'd like. Here's Aaron:

Original act (autographs) is "act of inspiration".
Continuing quality (copies, translations to an extent) is called "quality of inspiration".

That isn't exactly group three, and I like it better than group three. I don't really like "act of inspiration" for original act, because "inspiration" Biblically is focused on quality, not act, so it can confuse people -- but "immediate inspiration" has the same problem, so this is a mere quibble. I don't like "quality of inspiration" for the continuing quality, because "inspiration"/theopneustos IS quality, and it confuses the picture somewhat. But Aaron, as stated in his last post, was closer to the Biblical usage of theopneustos than group two (by far) or group three (slightly better). He didn't sound like that at all earlier, which is at least part of the reason we went around and around so much. That's probably at least partly my fault.

JG's picture

First a minor quibble:

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
II Timothy 3:16 says "All Scripture", but in the historic context of the verse Paul's direct referent is the O.T. of which only copies existed.

It doesn't really change your point, but I believe the direct referent was not merely the OT. In the prior verse, Paul used a hapax legomenon for "holy Scriptures" -- nowhere else used in the NT, but it was in common usage in Jewish writings referring to the OT. Then, in verse 16 he returns to the normal graphe. The contrast seems rather pointed -- we're moving away from just the OT to "all graphe".

Second, from my post 281 I would be interested if you could find the time to address the following paragraph:

JG wrote:
What Peter hasn't engaged with as well as I would like is the difficulty, at times, of determining in some few cases exactly what the believing community has attested. There are TR differences. How are you going to decide which is the reading which the believing community has attested? Which TR is right? What if the newest TR was accepted by the believing community because it got 10 out of 12 changes right, rather than all 12? There are differences between the majority text and the TR. Why do we decide for the TR when the believing community, before the TR, appeared to be attesting the majority text? There are some cases where the "majority" is hard to determine. What is the attestation of the believing community in such a case? Etc.

Now, in light of that, I've read this post you've just written, and you seem to be suggesting that the believing community's attestation can change, and therefore we must assume that the latest attestation is the right one. So, a newer TR is the right TR.

If this is so, then if the combined popularity of the critical text and its translations among the believing community surpasses the popularity of the TR and its translations, would you then affirm the critical text? I don't think I'm quite following you on this point. Nor do I think you've at all answered my question about "10 of 12 changes".

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

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

We know that they are not Satan's words the same way we know our salvation is not of Satan, by the Holy Spirit bearing witness with our spirit through the words of God.

Peter,

I think this is the closest you have come anywhere in this thread, at least that I can remember seeing, to explaining in what way you see the Spirit communicating with believers. First, to the verse you cite. I assume you are referencing Romans 8:16. I believe the context and grammar there describe the Spirit acting along side us, not toward us. Second, this is also better aligned with the rest of Scripture, where there is never any indication anywhere of some kind of mystical impulse used to give direction to the believer. God speaks to us through His word. Period. This has been part of the reason for this vein of questioning being repeated throughout the thread.

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

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

JG wrote:
You are advocating that it means ex-spiration, that the Scriptures are special because they were breathed out by God, but that action of God really finished when He completed the act of giving them. My view is that God breathed into the Scriptures and they still breathe the breath of God, living and life-giving, and that this is the force of the word as it describes the divine nature/quality of the Scriptures.

It's true that I am saying what we call "inspiration" is really ex-spiration, or perhaps just spiration. Several theologies discuss this point specifically.

What I can't figure out is why anyone would want to introduce confusion between what God does when He breathes life into creatures made of dust, etc., and what the Spirit did when He moved men of old to communicate God's word. These are not the same thing.
In the sense you are talking about "inspiration" (God breathing life into things), I'm inspired every day of my life.

Whatever term we use for the unique miracle of God transmitting His word to us through human writers, it needs to be a term we use exclusively for that activity. Since we've got centuries worth of theology using "inspiration" for that, I can't see an advantage to tampering with 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.

JG's picture

I'm just going back to what was believed before him. Theopneustos/inspiration was never, as far as I can find, used exclusively for God transmitting His Word to us through human writers until 1881.

Warfield and A.A. Hodge, Tractate on Inspiration, 1881:

Quote:
The history of theology is full of parallel instances, in which terms of the highest import have come to be accepted in a more fixed and narrow sense than they bore at first either in scriptural or early ecclesiastical usage (emphasis mine).

Quote:
We have restricted the word “Inspiration” to a narrower sphere than that in which it has been used by many in the past.

Quote:
We do not assert that the common text, but only that the original autographic text, was inspired (emphasis mine).

I'm not making this up, those are their words (did you read it when I linked to their redefinition before? If not, why are you talking about tampering at all? Do you not care about tampering when Warfield does it?)

Who used that narrow definition before Warfield and Hodge? Find one for me, because I can't find even one person before them who said things like that last sentence I quoted. They admitted they were narrowing it, more narrowly than Scriptural usage. I wonder what they thought the Scriptural usage was, don't you?

For centuries, in multiple languages, it has been "inspiration" and you acknowledge that your view is ex-spiration or spiration. On whose side is history? Though Pink came after Warfield, he still held the historic view. Goodrick has tried to go back to it.

And I'm not "introducing confusion" between Genesis 2:7 and the giving of the Word, I'm saying that Genesis 2:7 and many other passages show that the breath of God has life-giving connotations, physically and/or spiritually. Not denotations, connotations -- but connotations are a vital part of the meaning of a word.

The only reason I'm "introducing confusion" is because it is a paradigm shift, because we've let Warfield's "narrower than Scriptural usage" redefinition set the paradigm and I'm no longer accepting his paradigm. Paradigm shifts are always confusing at first.

Don't like my exegesis? Try Goodrick in http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/25/25-4/25-4-pp479-487_JETS.pdf ]JETS . I don't think he gets everything right, but he's mostly right.

Quote:
Because of the way in which graphe is used to identify fallible copies and fallible translations, because of the vague edges of the meanings of theopneustos, and especially because of the purpose of the sentence and paragraph in which it is found, one should hardly enlist 2 Timothy 3:16-17 to support the pristine character of the autographs. Rather, he should exploit it to the full to demonstrate how valuable the God-breathed Scriptures are.

Theopneustos is first and foremost a description of the quality, not the act. The act is only implicit. Iit is inspired, not ex-spired. The whole history of interpretation, as far as I can see, was that the breath of God was and continues to be in the Scriptures, and imparted by them. That is their nature / quality, and that is what theopneustos clearly means in context -- what they are for us today as a result of the original act.

Jay's picture

I don't have a lot of time, but let me respond to this:

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
Jay wrote:
But HOW do you know that the KJB tradition is the one that God wants us to follow?
You keep going back to "the believing community says so". That's not a good enough reason if you are going to posit that God is divinely preserving the texts that underlie one translation.

My first reply is, How do you know it is not? If it is the undisputed traditional text of the believing community of the English speaking world for nearly 400 years, why do I have to prove that it is. I'll let history speak for itself. It seems the burden of proof for why we need to abandon that tradition rest with you.


Actually, since you're the one that is arguing for the SST position - a position that is 'new' to SI and is without a shred of Scriptural evidence or historical support - it's incumbent upon you to provide proof for a (relatively) very new idea that God has preserved His word in one specific text type or family (that underlies the translation you want us to use). That goes doubly so since you're the one that came to SI with the intent of teaching us all that we are wrong and that we need to believe in and defend the SST position.

I'll get to your other post later - maybe this weekend - but how do you not see the illogic of your position? You've basically said that God reveals a word perfect text - and argue for that - and then admit that God may re-introduce a better version of that text for Christians to use.. If the SST is word perfect and without error, then how could God introduce or lead people to a 'more perfect' text?

You have said the following:

Quote:
The King James Bible is the final product as of now. As for the conclusion, I do not know the movement of the Spirit for the unforeseeable future.

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

Such a thing can happen. The Holy Spirit by the word of God would direct His people to do such a thing. In fact, the English of the 1611 KJB was older than the English read and spoken by English speakers of 1611, so it appears the Holy Spirit lead His people to accept the opposite of "updated language".

Quote:
While the believing community will change in that dead saints will be replaced with the living saints; the Holy Spirit cannot change nor will His word in the apographa. The translation may receive an update and a new name but the substantia doctrina will be the same and the unchanging substantia verba and doctrina of the standard sacred apographa will be its basis.

The really ironic part is that you've defeated your own argument when you said:

Post #24 wrote:
The common response from the Multiple Version Only (MVO) position is that all of the hundreds of versions are equal or the same. This reasoning ignores a fundamental of logical reasoning, Two things that are different cannot be equal/the same. To make this principle more appropriate to the discussion, Hundreds of things that are different cannot be the same and as such do not bear equal/the same authority.

It seems to me that what you basically have to wind up arguing for is continuing re-inspiration (or at best, new revelation from the Spirit) whenever we need a new translation. That's a road I will not go down, but maybe you can clarify for us if I misunderstand.

"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

JG,
The point isn't really what word is the right one. The point is that Scripture nowhere equates or confuses the act of the Spirit moving men to write His words vs. the breathing of life into people.

It isn't wise to confuse those things. Personally, I think it's obvious that at this point in time, "inspiration" is the right word for the unique work of theopneustos.
(By the way, I know you're aware of this, but some readers might not be: theopneustos occurs only once in Scripture and only in reference to Scripture).

On an earlier point... words vs. documents
"it isn't the words that matter" means the same thing as "the words don't matter"
And I made neither of these statements.
Quite the contrary. My argument was that the words and the documents cannot be separated because we do not have Scripture until we have autographs.

Your thinking on the words vs. documents question is built on a false disjunction: that either the words must matter or the documents must matter. The reality is that the documents only matter if the words do... and they matter in direct proportion to how much the words do.
It isn't valid to construe concern about the documents into lack of concern about the words.

Another clarification on an earlier point: Paul did not apply theopneustos specifically to a translation. He applied it to "Scripture." This is just the grammar of the sentence. But he also made no distinction between "Scripture" and "translation of Scripture" in the passage, because there was no need to do that.
The difference is important because, given the errors of our age, we need to make sure people understand that "inspiredness" is a quality translations have only contingently: that is, they have it in relation to something that God inspired. God has not inspired any translations and the Bible does not claim that God inspired any translations. Rather, translations have that quality in degrees because they are more or less closely related to what God did inspire.

In the end, I suppose whether it's a good idea to be clear on these points or use terms that obscure them is a matter of judgment. So, I realize that "it's right to be clear because it's obviously right to be clear" is not an argument. Nonetheless it's how I see that point.
I guess I've already made some actual arguments from the purpose of theology, the purpose of doctrinal statements, the relationship between what we say on a doctrine to the errors of our own day, etc.
I don't think I can be any more clear than I already have on those points.

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.

JG's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
The point is that Scripture nowhere equates or confuses the act of the Spirit moving men to write His words vs. the breathing of life into people.

Nor do I confuse them, but the first, the act (inspired inscripturation) results in the second -- the words are life and give life. We can discard the "confusion" argument -- one results in the other. That is connection, not confusion.
Aaron Blumer wrote:
theopneustos occurs only once in Scripture and only in reference to Scripture).

Yes. Pneo ("breathe") from which it is derived IS used extensively, along with its derivative pneuma ("spirit"/"breath"). How does the Scripture refer to the pneuma/breath of God? Life-giving (Genesis, Job, John 3, etc, etc).

The evidence for the ex-spired view is etymology alone, a lousy way to determine a word's meaning. Connotations, context, grammatical structure, interpretive history, it all points away from that view. God didn't put "was" before theopneustos, or use an aorist passive indicative of pneo, or perfect passive for that matter. Verbs are so good for actions, but Paul had to go and use a pesky adjective. It would be so easy to shoot me down if he'd written it the way you or Warfield would have. Smile

Aaron Blumer wrote:
"it isn't the words that matter" means the same thing as "the words don't matter"
And I made neither of these statements.

You attributed the latter to me when I didn't say it. I asserted that only the words matter, not the paper. You denied it, and I was referring to your denial. I wasn't accusing you of saying the words don't matter, I was speaking of your denial that the words are the only thing that matters. In isolation, those two statements are very similar. In context, they are far different. Miscommunication. It matters little, I think what we are each saying is much clearer now.
Aaron Blumer wrote:
My argument was that the words and the documents cannot be separated because we do not have Scripture until we have autographs.

In the entire process of dictation, writing, destruction of mss, re-dictation, re-inscripturation, in Jer. 36, when were (and weren't) those words inspired "prophecy of Scripture"? Ten Commandments. Writing, destruction, re-writing, inscribing by Moses in Exodus. When were they and were they not Scripture? What is the original autograph of the Ten Commandments, if it is the document that matters? If it is the stone tablets, was Moses' writing in Exodus 20 "inspired"? When did the Proverbs of Solomon become "prophecy of Scripture", when he wrote them or when Hezekiah's men copied them? Or if Solomon dictated them to a scribe, when he spoke them or when the scribe wrote them? Of course the words and documents can be separated. When the autographs perished, they were separated for all time.

The pieces of paper are the means by which God began conveying those words to all generations. Inscripturation did not imbue the words with any quality that they lacked when they were placed by God in the mind/mouth of the writer/prophet with the sovereign intent that they would eventually be preserved by inscripturation. Once given, whether yet written or not, they were inspired prophecy of Scripture.

Aaron Blumer wrote:
Your thinking on the words vs. documents question is built on a false disjunction: that either the words must matter or the documents must matter. The reality is that the documents only matter if the words do... and they matter in direct proportion to how much the words do.

No, my thinking is built on Scripture -- A) the use of "spake" in II Peter 1:21 referring to "prophecy of Scripture", which means when spoken they were already "prophecy of Scripture" even if not yet inscripturated Cool the difficulty of even identifying the autograph in cases like Jer. 36 C) God's Word is settled in heaven where there are no autographs, and undoubtedly was before autographs existed D) my certainty that the words of Jeremiah were Scripture in the interlude when they weren't written anywhere E) the Scriptural emphasis on words F) the complete absence of statements that even mention autographs.

Yes, documents only matter if words do.

No, documents don't matter in direct proportion to the words. I understand, even agree a little, but you can't say that. Words are eternal, documents perish.

Yet, you are right in one respect. Not the document, but the act of writing matters. Inscripturation, the act of writing, was the earnest of God's commitment to provide the words to believers of all generations. That certainly matters.

Aaron Blumer wrote:
It isn't valid to construe concern about the documents into lack of concern about the words.

I never said you didn't care about the words. All I construed was that you didn't believe it is only the words that matter. I could have been clearer, though.
Aaron Blumer wrote:
Another clarification on an earlier point: Paul did not apply theopneustos specifically to a translation. He applied it to "Scripture." This is just the grammar of the sentence. But he also made no distinction between "Scripture" and "translation of Scripture" in the passage, because there was no need to do that.

I think we're close. I'll suggest small modifications. Paul did not apply theopneustos exclusively to a translation. He applied it to Scripture generally. The context clearly has Timothy's translation-in-hand in view, and he makes no distinction between it and Scripture generally, so translated Scripture is manifestly included in theopneustos.

Is that better?

Aaron Blumer wrote:

The difference is important because, given the errors of our age, we need to make sure people understand that "inspiredness" is a quality translations have only contingently: that is, they have it in relation to something that God inspired. God has not inspired any translations and the Bible does not claim that God inspired any translations. Rather, translations have that quality in degrees because they are more or less closely related to what God did inspire.

Sigh. Smile I agree with what you are saying, and object to using "inspired" to say it, because you are expiring inspired -- turning it into the historical act again.

Ruckman does not present a serious Bibliology, and while I'll refute it as needed, I'm not going to let his error frame the terms of how I express mine.

BTW, your argument that the "ex-spired" view is needed to oppose second act inspiration falls flat. That's not where it came from. Warfield taught it before Ruckman's second act inspiration was on the scene. It had nothing to do with Ruckmanism.

Aaron Blumer wrote:
In the end, I suppose whether it's a good idea to be clear on these points or use terms that obscure them is a matter of judgment. So, I realize that "it's right to be clear because it's obviously right to be clear" is not an argument. Nonetheless it's how I see that point.

Usage should match Biblical usage. Theopneustos is not a technical term, it's a practical one. Context demands we see it as practical, not technical. If we need a technical term, we should use extra-Biblical terms like inscripturation, rather than the Biblical "inspiration".

Jay's picture

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
I will try to make this as clear as possible. To say Turretin is simply a historian is to ignore the historical significance of the work. Turretin's Institutes are representative of the formulation of Protestant Scholasticism or High Orthodoxy in the late 16th and early 17th century even until the mid-19th century. To say, are there "any kind of church historian (other than Turretin.." is to pretend that his voice is his alone. It is like saying, the Westminster Confession of Faith is only one voice, so I need you to show me more sources before I can believe this was the position of the Church. Turretin's Institutes were perhaps the first comprehensive systematic theology of Protestant dogma, which he then taught at the Academy of Geneva and remained the mainstay of the theological community through mid-19th century Princeton. Do not take Turretin alone. He represents the theology of the Protestant movement of his time which is not a theory, but sacred doctrine held by God's people.
In addition to quoting Turretin for the representative quality of the work, I also quote from him because I know him the best of all the systematic theologies I have read. I have more underlines, checks, dog-eared pages, and highlights in Vol. 1 than any of my other books. In fact the print on the spine of Vol. 1 has begun to fade because of use. So I hope you can see that I quote from him because he most readily comes to my mind.

Peter-

I don't care how much of Turretin you know. Both of us know (since we're both read him) that Turretin does not say what you want him to say and does not support your SST theory. Furthermore, Turretin is one of many theologians - Luther and Calvin among others - and neither Luther nor Calvin espouse your ideas. No serious theologian out there does - that's why you keep trying to make Turretin say what you want him to instead of going to other wells.

As a matter of fact, this is what Calvin http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/institutes.iii.viii.html says about Scripture :

Quote:
5. Let it therefore be held as fixed, that those who are inwardly taught by the Holy Spirit acquiesce implicitly in Scripture; that Scripture, carrying its own evidence along with it, deigns not to submit to proofs and arguments, but owes the full conviction with which we ought to receive it to the testimony of the Spirit. For though in its own majesty it has enough to command reverence, nevertheless, it then begins truly to touch us when it is sealed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Enlightened by him, we no longer believe, either on our own Judgment or that of others, that the Scriptures are from God; but, in a way superior to human Judgment, feel perfectly assured—as much so as if we beheld the divine image visibly impressed on it—that it came to us, by the instrumentality of men, from the very mouth of God. We ask not for proofs or probabilities on which to rest our Judgment, but we subject our intellect and Judgment to it as too transcendent for us to estimate. This, however, we do, not in the manner in which some are wont to fasten on an unknown object, which, as soon as known, displeases, but because we have a thorough conviction that, in holding it, we hold unassailable truth; not like miserable men, whose minds are enslaved by superstition, but because we feel a divine energy living and breathing in it—an energy by which we are drawn and animated to obey it, willingly indeed, and knowingly, but more vividly and effectually than could be done by human will or knowledge. Hence, God most justly exclaims by the mouth of Isaiah, “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen, that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he,” (Isa. 43:10).

We should note that Calvin doesn't mention that Scripture's ability or power depends on what text - it's trustworthy because God gave it and it is therefore sufficient for any believers to use, study, and wield. Unlike, say, the King James version, which you say is trustworthy and true only because it is supported by the best texts.

To sum up, your position is this:
1. God has revealed the truth of Scripture in one text type or family.
2. God bases the immediate translations on that one particular text type or family.
3. God blesses and uses that one translation above all others.
4. God may, from time to time, give a new translation that all Christians will recognize as the true one.

The problem with all of that is that there is no way to quantify or realize God's action in all of this other than people believing what you say because you say it OR the nebulous 'leading of the Holy Spirit' that you keep falling back on as a defense. That leading of the Holy Spirit might be useful if you could demonstrate that the Spirit leads like this uniformly and clearly to all believers. Instead, what we get from your keyboard is that there is some act, decided upon by some people, that claims to be from God but isn't actually verifiable against the Word itself. So your total argumentation is essentially nothing more than "the King James is best because I say it is".

Your position also creates so many ancillary theological problems that it's hard to keep them all straight, but it's worth noting a few of them:

1. The subjective 'leading of the Holy Spirit' that you need to defend your text type is based on nothing more than your opinion.
2. Your position is predicated on the inability of God to preserve His Word for all mankind, despite His promise to preserve it.
3. The ongoing and continuing re-revelation of the right manuscript/text type/translation is problematic, since Revelation is pretty clear that God's direct revelation is ceased.
4. The idea that this textual theory of yours is on the same revealed basis as Salvation by faith alone through grace alone - Oh, and by the way, your answer to http://sharperiron.org/comment/36592#comment-36592 ]Larry's question is "Yes, I do hold this doctrine on the same level with the revelation of Hell in Scripture" even though you can't actually bring yourself to say it that way. When you started putting this theory on the same level as salvation by faith alone ( http://sharperiron.org/comment/38997#comment-38997 ]Post #288 , answer to #2), it made the answer really clear to those of us who were reading.

I think that's enough to say for now.

"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 JG,

I agree that "All Scripture" is in reference to the whole canon with regard to the doctrine of Canonicity in that it is the nature of all Scripture New and Old to be inspired.

Quote:
Brother JG wrote,

Now, in light of that, I've read this post you've just written, and you seem to be suggesting that the believing community's attestation can change, and therefore we must assume that the latest attestation is the right one. So, a newer TR is the right TR.

"Change" is not the best word to characterize the Church's movement from one iteration of the text to the next, but rather mature. God's people at the time of Tyndale's NT were growing with the Bible. So many of God's people did not have the Bible in their own language, so their knowledge of the content of the Bible was very small. As each iteration of the English Bible came into the possession of God's people the iteration before pointed to the iteration that followed, resulting in the further maturation of God's people both in knowledge of the words of God and the content/meaning of the words of God by the leading of the Spirit. This process ceased at the formulation of the KJB in that the modern text critical theory that arose out of the Enlightenment and after regarded the Bible of the Church to be contemptible and the new ahistorical methods of oldest, shortest, and hardest became the norm. I love Brother JayC's quote of Calvin in Post # 295 in that Griesbach, Wescott, Hort, Aland, Metzger, and Wallace would never dream of incorporating such language concerning the Spirit in their several enterprises.

Quote:
Brother JG wrote

If this is so, then if the combined popularity of the critical text and its translations among the believing community surpasses the popularity of the TR and its translations, would you then affirm the critical text?

If the believing community held to the latest critical Greek NT as the standard inspired apographa and formulated an English translation that was the standard inspired English translation of that standard apographa by the leading of the Spirit through submitting to the teachings of Scripture about itself, then I think a good case could be made for the next iteration of the KJB being this hypothetical text. Then once this text was produced the next step would be to see if the KJB pointed to this New Text, thus leading God's people to submit to it.

The reason why this is impossible at present it because the Spirit is not part of the process. God's people are treated as no more than consumers. Finally, there is no unifying text. We have one Lord, one faith and one baptism but we don't have one Bible in the original languages or the English language.

Quote:
Brother Van Emmerick wrote,

I believe the context and grammar there describe the Spirit acting along side us, not toward us.

The leading of the Spirit contains pointing, guiding, directing, and teaching so along side and toward are not mutually exclusive.

Quote:
Brother Van Emmerick wrote,

Second, this is also better aligned with the rest of Scripture, where there is never any indication anywhere of some kind of mystical impulse used to give direction to the believer. God speaks to us through His word. Period.

I have never used "mystical impulse" or any such language. God's word leads God's people by the Holy Spirit in everything they do which includes the accepting of God's words as indeed being God's words.

Quote:
Brother JayC wrote,

Actually, since you're the one that is arguing for the SST position - a position that is 'new' to SI and is without a shred of Scriptural evidence or historical support - it's incumbent upon you to provide proof for a (relatively) very new idea that God has preserved His word in one specific text type or family (that underlies the translation you want us to use).

What Greek tradition had the Church held to before 1881? The one that underlies the TR.
What English tradition had the Church held to before 1881? The one that underlies the KJB.

Brother JayC there was only one English Bible tradition and one Greek NT tradition until 1881 - the KJB/TR tradition.

This have never been about text types. The discussion at hand is about the self-attesting, self-authenticating, and self-interpreting words of Scripture which the believing community had long before 1881 and not by accident or force of will but by the leading of the Spirit concerning the words of God.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Quote:
Brother JayC wrote,

That goes doubly so since you're the one that came to SI with the intent of teaching us all that we are wrong and that we need to believe in and defend the SST position.

I did not come here to "teach you all". I am not convinced that you are teachable, for one. Second, I have done this to get myself back into the groove of the discussion and I end up hearing things that I have never heard in my 20 years of doing this. Third, I write for those who do want to know, not for you. You have served as a foil from which I am able to articulate the truth of the situation.

For me to say,

"This reasoning ignores a fundamental of logical reasoning, Two things that are different cannot be equal/the same. To make this principle more appropriate to the discussion, Hundreds of things that are different cannot be the same and as such do not bear equal/the same authority."

Does not contradict itself because the believing community that held to iteration #1 at one point and then to iteration #2 at another did not hold to both simultaneously as you do when you claim the ESV and NIV are both the word of God equally. History does not bear out, and I am open to evidence to the contrary, that the believing community held Tyndale's, Matthew's, and Coverdale's at the same time as the KJB and in the same way.

Quote:
Brother JayC wrote,

It seems to me that what you basically have to wind up arguing for is continuing re-inspiration (or at best, new revelation from the Spirit) whenever we need a new translation.

It is not re-inspiration, rather it is preservation in the way the Bible depicts it.

Quote:
Brother JayC wrote,

I don't care how much of Turretin you know.

It has never been how much I know about anything. I am merely expressing my education in the discipline. I told you of my experience with Turretin only to demonstrate that he is most familiar to me to my help or hurt I'll let you decide.

Quote:
Brother JayC wrote,

Both of us know (since we're both read him) that Turretin does not say what you want him to say and does not support your SST theory.

Turretin is certainly speaking of a standard authoritative apographa. I have demonstrated this over and over. I don't go to more sources because you don't read it nor do you care. When I typed nearly 20 single-spaced pages of research for this thread I was accused of clouding the issue and now I am being told that I have offered nothing at all in the way of Scripture or history. That is simply not true.

Then you quote this beautiful quote from Calvin and all it can talk about is how the Scripture speaks for itself, its relationship to the believer and the power of the Holy Spirit in this matter and still you deny me the point that the Spirit, word, and saint are at the center of text issue and that it is not supported by Scripture. You read Calvin and you miss the whole point, it is no wonder you have read Turretin and have missed the point. Furthermore, it is no wonder you have missed and would miss the point with Hoornbeeck, Muller, Owen, Willet, et al.

You think I am making all this up when I got so much from Dr. Muller who wrote, The Unaccommodated Calvin: Studies in the Foundation of a Theological Tradition; who also read Calvin to us out of the original French. I studied at Calvin Theological Seminary where the largest collection of works by and about Calvin are contained in the Meter Center. If there is any theologian to go to that most clearly articulates the relationship of word, Spirit, and saint it is John Calvin which I learned from guys who know Calvin better then you could ever dream. Frankly, sir you simply have no idea what you are talking about when it come to the enduring worth of pre-critical thought and exegesis.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Peter Van Kleeck Jr.'s picture

Here is a perfect example of failure in this regard. You wrote,

We should note that Calvin doesn't mention that Scripture's ability or power depends on what text

That is because there is only one text tradition to mention the TR/KJB tradition. Furthermore, he is not even talking about a specific text type, but rather the words of God as the image of the Holy Spirit. Yeah, if you read more, Calvin actually calls the word of God (the Bible) in his hand the image of the Holy Spirit. If you knew this I think you would have refrained form your diatribe. It is as simple as that, but you are too blind because of your position to read Calvin, Turretin, or any other pre-critical theologian in his historical context.

Quote:
Brother JayC wrote,

To sum up, your position is this:
1. God has revealed the truth of Scripture in one text type or family.
2. God bases the immediate translations on that one particular text type or family.
3. God blesses and uses that one translation above all others.
4. God may, from time to time, give a new translation that all Christians will recognize as the true one.

#1 is patently false. I have never ascribed to a text type. I have ascribed to the self-attesting words of God and on that point Turretin defends the uncorrupted character on the basis of "the number and multitude of copies" not the weight of a ms. Hopefully that should ring a bell for you.

#2 is a pure mischaracterization of the hundreds of typed pages I have posted on this thread.

#3 is simply a lie. I have maintained that God uses His words wherever they occur but that does not make that occurrence the standard sacred rule of faith and practice.

#4 I have never said all Christians. I have said the believing community which is different than all Christians. All Christian would not receive the KJB as the standard rule of faith and practice because some do not read English. Some Christians do not receive the KJB because they have no knowledge of it even though they may know English as a second language. There are a host of reasons why I have never said "All Christians". You simply are not listening.

Quote:
Brother JayC wrote,

The problem with all of that is that there is no way to quantify or realize God's action in all of this other than people believing what you say because you say it OR the nebulous 'leading of the Holy Spirit' that you keep falling back on as a defense.

Again I have never claimed a "nebulous leading of the Spirit" rather I have advocated the leading of the Spirit through the living words of God in Scripture.

Quote:
Brother JayC again,

Instead, what we get from your keyboard is that there is some act, decided upon by some people, that claims to be from God but isn't actually verifiable against the Word itself.

A mother and a daughter received Christ as Savior in the past two weeks at my church. I cannot verify against the word of God because the Bible does not say specifically, Allison is saved, so does that mean I doubt her salvation when she comes to me so excitedly to tell me they received Christ. No I give her a hug and praise God. Why? Because I believe God saves souls. So the Bible does not say “TR” but it does demand that I by faith trust that every word in the text is God’s word because I am not exempt from one word of Scripture either in knowledge and/or in practise. If you believe that there are words in Scripture that you are exempt from according to knowledge, i.e. I don’t really need to know those words (e.g. temple observances) or in practise i.e. I don’t really need to do that (e.g. give to the poor) then you can maintain that some words don’t matter as much as others so it is ok to be without some.

On another note, here again you are out of touch with the believing community of the past. The belief in a standard sacred apographa was not some act by some people nor have I reported it as such. The facts remain which you ignore, that the believing community has held to a belief in a standard sacred apographa (Masoretic Hebrew/TR) from which an English translation tradition (KJB tradition) emerged which is now vehemently fought against by those for whom that tradition existed and exists.

I have loaded this thread with so much material both Scriptural and historical and you have demonstrated yourself to be either ignorant or negligent in the study of this topic by simply discarding the truth of historical exegesis and theological formulation which is compounded by your appeal to Calvin on the Scripture/Spirit/Saint paradigm without realizing it because of your blindness or ineptitude on the topic. Say all you like that you know, but your mastery of the topic demonstrates otherwise to your own shame.

I have not come to SI to instruct but to discuss. Socrates was right when he said the only way one can learn is for that person to first understand that they do not know. You, Brother JayC, believe that you know and for that reason you will not learn or be instructed in what I have to say, so I do not pretend to do so.

Your pretension that what I have proposed in this thread is new, further demonstrates your abject failure to understand the content and grasp the force of pre-critical exegesis and theological formulation. You mock the tradition with your silly adolescent analysis of pre-critical thought in that your grasp of the material is decidedly tertiary in substance at best.

I predict, when all is said and done you are so self-absorbed that you will consider the above four paragraphs as a personal assault rather than legitimate criticism of your knowledge of the topic thus far. Then of course your cohorts will come to your aid like Brother Blumer who brings only to the table what he think and what he thinks the Bible says, and it is your hope that he like the Lone Ranger will come save the day by admitting that he has no idea of the tradition either.

I admit that I am not the most articulate on the topic, and I confess that blogging is not the medium I am most comfortable with, which in turn may reduce the quality of foil I offer to those who oppose the Standard Sacred Text position. Still, this will be my 36th reply to this thread and you act as if I have offered nothing and what you do read you brutishly summarize language I have used over and over with words I have never used. In short, my lack of more concise articulation cannot supply for your gross misrepresentation of 35 posts, rather there is something going on in your own head which leads you to form my position so inaccurately in your mind. By all means I hope you continue in the discussion, but I hope you try harder to grasp the substance of what is going on here.

Ontology Precedes Epistemology.

StandardSacredText.com

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Peter Van Kleeck Jr. wrote:
For me to say,

Quote:
"This reasoning ignores a fundamental of logical reasoning, Two things that are different cannot be equal/the same. To make this principle more appropriate to the discussion, Hundreds of things that are different cannot be the same and as such do not bear equal/the same authority."

Does not contradict itself because the believing community that held to iteration #1 at one point and then to iteration #2 at another did not hold to both simultaneously as you do when you claim the ESV and NIV are both the word of God equally. History does not bear out, and I am open to evidence to the contrary, that the believing community held Tyndale's, Matthew's, and Coverdale's at the same time as the KJB and in the same way.

Actually, it does contradict itself. You claim the NIV and the NASB cannot both be the Word of God because they are not the same. Yet you claim iteration #1 and iteration #2 are both the perfect, eternal, unalterable Word of God because they are accepted as the Word of God at different times in History. You can't have it both ways. Either things cannot be the same without being identical, or they can be. Your position claims a perfect, eternal, unalterable Word of God on one hand, then argues for a "maturing" (i.e. different, not identical) Word of God on the other hand.

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

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