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12891Re: Providential Purity

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  • bob_suden
    May 14, 2005
      Sorry Chris,
      Didn't see this before my last.
      Finally an acknowledgment of PP according to the WCF contra the
      previous discussion on nothing would be lost regardless of which
      text/manuscript family used etc.etc.

      cordially in Christ,
      Bob Suden

      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "forisraelssake"
      <c_tylor@y...> wrote:
      > > What good is it simply to know that there is an
      > > original out there somewhere?
      > Dan:
      > I think what I am saying is that we know about the providential
      > of the Scripture text (a priori) and so any corruption must
      > necessarily be insignificant by definition, or preservation isn't
      > preservation.
      > The autograph is not some hypothetical entity existing at the end of
      > research, it is present with us in the apogpraphs (copies) by virtue
      > of providential preservation (WCF 1:8). This isnt Kantianism, where
      > the ding-an-sich is unknowable and always beyond perception. The
      > apographs are of course pure themselves.
      > I just thought this up and the logic of it might be wrong but it
      > to me as if your position is the one that puts the Scripture outside
      > somewhere. True, you believe we can by a leap of pure faith all
      > together 'reach' out and grab the original variant. You therefore
      > think any sincere Christian can know the words of the original.
      > But your position, if I followed you correctly (which I am not
      > I have!), considers all but the autographical readings impure and
      > entire manuscript tradition literally a big mass of inchoate
      > uninspired variants. You suggest we can by "inner ostention", pick
      > out individually (or corporately in some capacity) the autographical
      > reading through sincere faith (and perhaps, some scholarship).
      > However it seems to me that is inadequate, since it more or less
      > treats the manuscript tradition as wildly infused with corruptions.
      > How can God by a singular providence kept the autograph readings
      > if the autograph reading must by definition be only a single variant
      > among the several that usually exist for each sentence?
      > (Forgive me if I reduced a strawman to absurdity, Daniel!)
      > The proper confessional way to view it seems to me to say the
      > manuscripts in church use have been kept pure from heresy or schism
      > infidelity. Isn't that what WCF 1:8 is saying? The TRs of the
      > Reformation are the RPNA's ecclessiastical text(s) because it was a
      > homologated text of the Reformers and it is a known pure text.
      > printed texts (or even manuscripts) are of indeteriminate purity and
      > so can't be authoritative use until we have a Covenanted synod or
      > assembly trained in all the requisite fields homologate that those
      > pure.
      > [For instance, what if someone wanted to teach doctrine today based
      > off a manuscript of Marcion?! Or another gnostic hacked up text?
      > Providential purity protected only the visible church's
      > ecclessiastical preaching texts and not mutilated versions of
      > heretics. One big reason to put a question mark on the Alexandrian
      > and Western (and now Caesarian) text types is John Burgon's
      > scholarship to prove these were isolated, heretical texts that never
      > had widespread ecclessiastical use. Was he right?]
      > The apograph variants are all literally insignificant on this way of
      > viewing things, and the lost autographs are not of any great
      > to us today. Of course the fact that the many variants for any
      > pericope originate from a single original entail that only one
      > is autographical, and textual criticism works towards that. But the
      > enterprise of suggesting most likely autographical readings (which
      > what textual criticism is) is not of any great importance because of
      > the known factor of providential purity of the manuscript tradition.
      > That's why it is not right to think of the implications of accepting
      > textual criticism as implying some sort of
      > Letis-style-interpretion-of-Warfield, the eternal and unreachable
      > search for the autographs, and replacing the apographs with some
      > scholarly probabilistic autograph reconstruction. Who knows, maybe a
      > lot of people who deny the enduring providential purity of the text
      > the framer's sense might believe that. Not sure if Warfield did.
      > So that is kind of why I think textual criticism doesnt make the
      > the preserve of the "specialist" and the scholar and destroy
      > infallibility. I think if anything your view (or the one I am
      > ascribing to you in this post for the sake of argument) of treating
      > any non-autographical variant as a life-or-death end of inerrancy
      > (saved only by our inner ostending--a Wittgenstein word--the one and
      > only pure variant) is the death of infallibilty.
      > What do you think?
      > Sincerely in Christ,
      > Chris T.
      > Montreal, QC
      > RPNA
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