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  • Theodore Letis
    Can anyone tell me who this person is below to whom I have been reply for a few weeks now? Sorry, your facts are little more than massive overstatements,
    Message 1 of 2 , May 27, 2005
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      Can anyone tell me who this person is below to whom I have been reply for a few weeks now?

      Sorry, your facts are little more than massive overstatements, generalizations, and some serious axe-grinding. The early church also believed in "divinization" rather than justification by faith alone--so what? Jerome got it right (ad fontes) and Augustine got it very wrong. Look, what do you think the LXX translator translated from--the Hebrew Bible! Hence, the Hebrew--as all Hebraists admit--certainly carries the meaning virgin. I have no idea where you are going with all of this, but I am not finding this at all profitable...I suspect you are an ill-informed Ruckmanite, twisting the world on its axis to prove your nonsense. The Westminster Confession affirms the Greek and Hebrew ALONE are inspired...

      Barry Ferguson <gogon789@...> wrote:

      DR. LETIS:
       
       
      FACTS OF LIFE:
       
       
       
      The early church considered the LXX inspired.
       
      The New Testament scriptures thoroughly document this historic fact.   It is the heirloom of the primitive Christian church.   I did not make this up, nor do I care to re-invent the wheel.     
       
      The Westminster divines used "consent of all its parts" as a canon of scriptural interpretation.  Matthew's reference to a "virgin" was a direct quote from his authoritative scriptural source, and there is verbal consent and agreement between Matthew's quote and his inspired Old Testament text.   
       
      The King James version, though it draws from and compares with the Hebrew sources what the translators had at their disposal, does not do violence to this "consent" between Old and New Testaments parts.
       
      Matthew quoted his source as authoritative scripture, presumably God's infallible Word in his own mind.    Matthew was either right or he was wrong - and the law of non-contradiction is something that the Westminster divines believed in.
       
      So do I.
       
      There is no consensual agreement between these parts in the Revised Standard Version edited by your friend Dr. Bruce Metzger at this place - and this reflects the best and brightest of (moderate) modern scholarship.
       
      Instead you read Matthew's quote.  You then go back to the scripture he cites and you discover Matthew has seemingly misquoted his source.    There is no consent between the parts in the best translation of modern scholarship, and the Westminster divines would frown on this.  
       
      For it leaves the impression that the inspired New Testament author was in error, was duped, was mis-leading us, or quoted an uninspired source as his authoritative scriptural text.  (If you don't accept Matthew's source as inspired, then the entire New Testament is riddled with verbal errors from an inferior or bogus translation).
       
      The Westminster divines also considered that God is uni-vocal, that the law, the prophets, and the New Testament apostles are in agreement, as regards the testimony of God to his own veracity.   Scripture is therefore "self attesting" - God agrees with himself in both historic covenants, and in both written testaments.  The Westminster divines were so sure of this that there was, in their mind, two dispensations of but one covenant.
       
       
      The modern scholarly conceit is that we are more informed and better educated people than the ancients (who were "superstitious"), and that our superior scholars know better than the inspired New Testament authors (with regard to the authority of their own sources), and also know Hebrew better than the Hebrew scholars of yore who were commissioned to translate their Hebrew scriptures into the Greek language - a few hundred years before the birth of Christ.  
       
      What amazes me is that those elite Hebrews scholars, a few hundred years before Christ, would come up with (unanimously) such a bogus and inferior interpretation of their own primary source...  
       
      and that God in his providence would drop this bogus or inferior interpretation into the lap of the church just as he enters the stream of history (born of a virgin, you say?).
       
      This is what an anti-Christ might do, but not the God The Westminster Confession calls "most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute, working ALL THINGS according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will, for his own glory; most loving, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in GOODNESS and TRUTH" ... (MY EMPH).    He does not deceive and he is not duplicitous, nor is He the author of confusion.
       
      Yet we are made to believe that Matthew and the boys manufactured legends and pious myths on the basis of their bogus Old Testament translation, and overlaid the virgin birth on the original testimony to the real Jesus, born of a young woman according to the course of nature.   And all this fabrication was grounded on a defective reading of the original Hebrew text.   Matthew was but a child, apparently taken in by the serpentine guile of the seventy translators.
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      The scriptures God providentially put into the lap of the church were the only scriptures the New Testament writers knew, and they received them in good faith, not from Christian sources, but from Hebrew sources - those authoritative Hebrew translators were just as eminent in Matthew's eyes as the Westminster divines are in yours, probably moreso.   They were comissioned to standardize the scriptures for their own Greek speaking people no less than for the Gentile world.
       
      The modern way of looking at things does not square with Westminster canons of interpretation.   The "consent of all its parts" was one of the things that commend to us the scripture's inspired quality, according to this confession.   Inspiration and verbal accuracy, reliability, fidelity, veracity, "consent of all its parts," are synonymous.   Modern scholars treat scripture as a natural religious product that is purely relative to time and place, without the slightest trace of anything that could be considered prophetic or inspired, or unitary.   Christianity can be explained in natural and rational terms, and so can its scriptures.   Christian dogma, therefore, is the fabrication of the Greek mind, while the legendary overlay is the byproduct of the pious sentiments of the superstitious.    
       
      The New Testament authors were witnesses, not fabricators.  The LXX was authoritative to them because it was handed down to them (by God) on the authority of the most eminent Hebrew scholars, the cream of the Jewish crop two hundred years before Christ.    Events as they panned out, what the apostles saw with their eyes, what they touched with their hands, of the Word of Life, squared with what they read in the LXX.   The seventy scholars' interpretation was vindicated by history (the Holy Spirit overshadow the virgin and Immanuel assumed human flesh - and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory).
       
      Jesus was not only born of a virgin and was raised from the dead, he "opened" to the early church the Old Testament scriptures - so the reading that was handed down by the church was based on an inspired reading into scripture (eisegesis according to the risen Christ) no less than what modern scholars would call "exegesis."    The Westminster divines said that the interior witness of the Holy Spirit is what ultimately makes this understandable, to the ignorant no less than to the learned.  
       
      The God of providence - this too is the God of the Westminster divines.
       
      He oversees and actively participates not only in the inspiration but in the transmission, translation, preservation and interpretation of his own words and deeds.  (The interior work of the Holy Spirit does not necessarily belong to New Testament scholars). 
       
      He saw to it that the Hellenistic world had an acurate and reliable translation of his word at the time of his entry into the stream of history, at a time when Greek and Hebrew cultures converged.
       
      This was his doing, and this is the New Testament faith, so there is no wheel for me to reinvent, nor do I make my living by improving on the text that God provided to the early church.  
       
      All I can do is say "amen" - and ask you and your colleagues to give THAT text to me in a fresh contemporary english translation, perhaps with notes comparing that text with the presumptive improvements of modern scholarship.
       
       
      Thanks in advance (:).
       
       
      Barry

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