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12891Re: Providential Purity

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  • bob_suden
    May 14, 2005
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      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
      purity
      > 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
      seems
      > 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
      certain
      > I have!), considers all but the autographical readings impure and
      the
      > entire manuscript tradition literally a big mass of inchoate
      corrupted
      > 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
      pure
      > 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
      or
      > 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.
      Other
      > 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
      are
      > 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
      damnable
      > 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
      relevence
      > to us today. Of course the fact that the many variants for any
      given
      > pericope originate from a single original entail that only one
      variant
      > is autographical, and textual criticism works towards that. But the
      > enterprise of suggesting most likely autographical readings (which
      is
      > 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
      in
      > 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
      bible
      > 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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