Re: Text types
One thing I would like to say is that I agree with you that no
translation of the original languages is at all pure and also that
they still can in some sense be called the word of God. In other
words if the only translation I had was the NIV, then I would use it,
as corrupt as it is.
And I see what you are saying about the fact that the spirit assures
us that the Bible is the word of God so that what is debated is not
the authority of scripture but which text type most accurately
reflects the original. But to me it seems like the same thing as
questioning God's word but on a different level. Yes, the original is
inspired but if we don't know what the original is then we are back
to square one (square one being that we don't really know what the
word of God is yet). What good is it simply to know that there is an
original out there somewhere? Because, if the means by which we get
back to the original is by textual criticism, which is by definition
uncertain, then we still have that layer of doubt to pass through to
get to God's word. It might be true that all of the text types agree
in most places but is that why we should be sure that those
particular words are inspired? The only reason why we know that is
because the textual critics say it and as faithfull as the RPNA is
(and I would say that they are one of the most faithfull
denominations) I cannot rely of there testimony because they are
still mere men.
I actually believe that Textual Criticism can be used to guide us,
just like we can use church history to guide us to find the right
cannon of scripture, but I firmly believe that God has to give a
direct witness in order to be completely sure. Just as we wouldn't
say the the authority of Scripture rests on the church we should also
say that it doesn't rest on the testimony of textual critics. For
instance, I don't believe that John 3:16 is there simply because all
of the text types have it, but because the spirit assures it to my
heart. What I am against is modern textual criticism which seems to
confuse that order of importance. So, I don't believe that the Spirit
first guides us to the Bible and then leaves us to find out which
text is right, because even the places that agree can only be found
out to be so by those who see the texts first hand (and even that
doesn't remove the uncertainty) but that the Spirits work always
logically precedes the uncertainty of science on any level.
Some, I guess, could argue that I am missrepresenting the arguement
by saying that we rely on textual CRITICS as opposed to saying
textual CRITICISM. Putting aside the fact that textual criticism
wouldn't be certain anyway, I think that we can safely say that the
church would have to rely on the actual fallible CRITICS themselve
because only they are qualified enough to make such an inquiry
leaving the rest of the church to move with them as they get blown to
and fro by every wind of scientific discovery and human error.
It is good to discuss this with you and God bless.
- 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,
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "forisraelssake"
> > What good is it simply to know that there is anpurity
> > original out there somewhere?
> I think what I am saying is that we know about the providential
> of the Scripture text (a priori) and so any corruption mustseems
> necessarily be insignificant by definition, or preservation isn't
> 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 outsidecertain
> 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 andthe
> entire manuscript tradition literally a big mass of inchoatecorrupted
> uninspired variants. You suggest we can by "inner ostention", pickpure
> 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 variantor
> 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 theOther
> 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 andare
> so can't be authoritative use until we have a Covenanted synod or
> assembly trained in all the requisite fields homologate that those
> [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 Alexandrianrelevence
> 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 anygiven
> pericope originate from a single original entail that only onevariant
> is autographical, and textual criticism works towards that. But theis
> enterprise of suggesting most likely autographical readings (which
> what textual criticism is) is not of any great importance because ofin
> 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.bible
> 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