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Re: tc-list Jesus is better.

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  • Robert B. Waltz
    ... Since I am being -- er -- invoked here, I must sound a very strong note of protest. Textual criticism is NOT a matter of faith. I can t stop you from
    Message 1 of 10 , Jul 5, 1999
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      On 7/5/99, you wrote:

      >Dear tc-list correspondents:
      >
      >My thanks for all the valuable information you have made available.
      >
      >I especially appreciated Mr. Robert B. Waltz's contribution of 1 Jul
      >1999. In explaining why critical editions of the NT have placed double
      >brackets about certain passages, he notes--very significantly--that the
      >passages "tend to make Jesus what we consider a better person...." No
      >doubt. This being so, the passages would seem to share in the work of
      >the Holy Spirit, of whom the Lord said, "...he will glorify me...." (Jn.
      >16:14). Since evidence of inspiration is further evidence of canonicity,
      >we have an extra reason for regarding the passages as canonical--the
      >word of God, and not forgeries. Thank you, Mr. Waltz.

      Since I am being -- er -- invoked here, I must sound a very strong
      note of protest.

      Textual criticism is NOT a matter of faith. I can't stop you from
      determining the text of a faith basis, but if you do so, you are
      ignoring all principles of science and of textual criticism.

      Moreover, once you start down the path of preferring the reading
      you personally like, as opposed to the reading more likely to be
      original, where do you stop? By this principle, every critic would
      be free to adopt ANY reading. It wouldn't even have to be found
      in a manuscript; if it's "right," you can adopt it anyway. Under
      this method of criticism, the Bible, instead of being made a
      greater and more holy document, is cheapened, because it is simply
      the text you happen to prefer. It's your entirely human text.

      A textual critic -- indeed, any Christian who reveres the Bible --
      must have a method, and stick to it, even if the results seem
      unfortunate.

      I am probably the most extreme proponent of this view; I am constantly
      pleading for more scientific criticism. But surely it is obvious
      to all that this method of criticism is both unacceptable and
      completely hopeless.

      So, for example, while I consider the Woman Taken in Adultery to be
      the most beautiful of the legends about Jesus, it is just that: A
      legend, a product of the "Western" text, not generally adopted until
      about the tenth century. The case against the other passages in
      double brackets is similar, though generally not as strong.

      -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

      Robert B. Waltz
      waltzmn@...

      Want more loudmouthed opinions about textual criticism?
      Try my web page: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn
      (A site inspired by the Encyclopedia of NT Textual Criticism)
    • Pappyhays@aol.com
      In a message dated 99-07-05 20:00:57 EDT, you write:
      Message 2 of 10 , Jul 5, 1999
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        In a message dated 99-07-05 20:00:57 EDT, you write:

        << I'm probably not the only one that finds this message odd and off topic.
        What, one might ask, does the topic of inspiration have to do with the
        practice of textual criticism? >>
      • Pappyhays@aol.com
        In a message dated 99-07-05 20:00:57 EDT, Mark Proctor writes:
        Message 3 of 10 , Jul 5, 1999
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          In a message dated 99-07-05 20:00:57 EDT, Mark Proctor writes:

          << I'm probably not the only one that finds this message odd and off topic.
          What, one might ask, does the topic of inspiration have to do with the
          practice of textual criticism? >>

          Well, forgive my naivet'e Mark, as well as my lack of professionalism, but I
          thought that textual criticism had to do with determining what God said, and
          therefore would be related to inspiration and canonicity. If this is not so,
          please correct me. If the topic of the list has a narrower definition than
          that, please accept my apologies.

          The "certain passages" that the gentleman was referring to have been the
          topic of several comments, many of which were solicited by me in the interest
          of determining the motivation or simply the reason behind Nestles dogmatic
          proclamation concerning the double bracketed verses. Although I did not
          mention any verses, the ones referred to in this line of conversation have
          been the last twelve of Mark and the Pericope de Adulteress

          I would comment on your closing remark, but then church history and fulfilled
          prophecy would be just as off topic then wouldn't they?


          Mark J. Hays
        • Pappyhays@aol.com
          In a message dated 99-07-05 20:21:15 EDT, Robert Waltz writes in part:
          Message 4 of 10 , Jul 5, 1999
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            In a message dated 99-07-05 20:21:15 EDT, Robert Waltz writes in part:

            << Since I am being -- er -- invoked here, I must sound a very strong
            note of protest.

            Textual criticism is NOT a matter of faith. I can't stop you from
            determining the text of a faith basis, but if you do so, you are
            ignoring all principles of science and of textual criticism.>>

            I don't think anyone was *determining* anything by faith, but rather
            rejoicing in the evidence.

            <<Moreover, once you start down the path of preferring the reading
            you personally like, as opposed to the reading more likely to be
            original, where do you stop? By this principle, every critic would
            be free to adopt ANY reading.>>
            And conversly, could not, by the adoption of a particular method, ANY reading
            be discarded?

            << It wouldn't even have to be found
            in a manuscript; if it's "right," you can adopt it anyway. Under
            this method of criticism, the Bible, instead of being made a
            greater and more holy document, is cheapened, because it is simply
            the text you happen to prefer. It's your entirely human text.

            A textual critic -- indeed, any Christian who reveres the Bible --
            must have a method, and stick to it, even if the results seem
            unfortunate.>>

            And Mr Waltz, is there a rule against criticizing another's method? Or in
            determining if he truly is "sticking to it"? In my case, I began this with
            a question about what the method, or , if you will, the reasoning was, behind
            the dogmatic remarks in NA 27 concerning the double bracketed texts. So far,
            I've been given political advice, and have been told that the answer is in
            the commentary. Does anyone know, or do they all simply trust in the previous
            scholarship? If that's the case, isn't THAT (practically speaking) the same
            as determining the readings "by faith"?

            <<I am probably the most extreme proponent of this view; I am constantly
            pleading for more scientific criticism. But surely it is obvious
            to all that this method of criticism is both unacceptable and
            completely hopeless.>>

            Is this how Dean Burgon is dealt with?

            <<So, for example, while I consider the Woman Taken in Adultery to be
            the most beautiful of the legends about Jesus, it is just that: A
            legend, a product of the "Western" text, not generally adopted until
            about the tenth century. The case against the other passages in
            double brackets is similar, though generally not as strong.
            >>
            You don't actually base your decisions about such things on "text family"
            theories do you?
            My how open minded and "scientific" that would be!

            Mark Hays
          • Stephen C. Carlson
            Godwin s law for the Internet states that any meaningful discussion has run its course when someone directly or indirectly compares the other side to Hitler.
            Message 5 of 10 , Jul 6, 1999
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              Godwin's law for the Internet states that any meaningful discussion has
              run its course when someone directly or indirectly compares the other
              side to Hitler. If I may suggest, this has happened here.

              Stephen Carlson
              --
              Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
              Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
              "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
            • Robert B. Waltz
              I m probably going to regret this, but since my position is being badly misrepresented here, I must make one last attempt to clarify what I am saying. On this
              Message 6 of 10 , Jul 6, 1999
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                I'm probably going to regret this, but since my position is being
                badly misrepresented here, I must make one last attempt to clarify
                what I am saying. On this whole subject, I would add an introduction,
                from 1 Corinthians 14:20...

                "Do not be children in your thinking; be babies in evil, but let
                your thinking be mature."

                The essence of the scientific method is that, where one's beliefs
                conflict with evidence, the evidence wins.

                If there are any innocent bystanders left on this list, I'd advise
                you not to read this; I cast a fair amount of scorn on non-scientific
                attitudes.

                On 7/5/99, Pappyhays@... wrote:

                >In a message dated 99-07-05 20:21:15 EDT, Robert Waltz writes in part:
                >
                ><< Since I am being -- er -- invoked here, I must sound a very strong
                > note of protest.
                >
                > Textual criticism is NOT a matter of faith. I can't stop you from
                > determining the text of a faith basis, but if you do so, you are
                > ignoring all principles of science and of textual criticism.>>
                >
                >I don't think anyone was *determining* anything by faith, but rather
                >rejoicing in the evidence.

                If one accepts a reading based on what one wants to believe, that
                is determining things by faith. Remember, the discussion started with
                a series of passages which the UBS editors declared to be interpolations.
                That's what the [[ ]] notation means. Yet the poster was rejoicing
                in this evidence about Jesus's goodness.

                > <<Moreover, once you start down the path of preferring the reading
                > you personally like, as opposed to the reading more likely to be
                > original, where do you stop? By this principle, every critic would
                > be free to adopt ANY reading.>>
                >And conversly, could not, by the adoption of a particular method, ANY reading
                >be discarded?

                Of course. However, if one adopts a consistent method, you're going to
                find "good" readings going with "bad." The point is not the method;
                we all have different methods. The point is, the method has to be
                the same. It doesn't matter whether you're choosing between AN and EAN
                in a passage where the difference makes no difference, or deciding
                whether to include or exclude Mark 16:9-20. An objective text must
                follow the same rules at all points.

                [ ... ]

                >And Mr Waltz, is there a rule against criticizing another's method? Or in
                >determining if he truly is "sticking to it"?

                Obviously not. But praising a passage -- which is where this thread
                started -- has *nothing* to do with methodology.

                There are two possibilities here: Either one is using faith as a
                methodology (in which case it isn't textual criticism, and does not
                belong on this list or in any scientific discussion), or one is
                talking about the meaning of the passage (in which case it isn't
                textual criticism, and does not belong on this list or in any
                scientific discussion).

                Textual critics come from all faiths (and lack thereof). The only
                way they can continue to work together is by avoiding bringing faith
                into the discussion. This is a textual criticism list, not a religious
                list. And for it to function effectively, it must stay that way.

                >In my case, I began this with
                >a question about what the method, or , if you will, the reasoning was, behind
                >the dogmatic remarks in NA 27 concerning the double bracketed texts. So far,
                >I've been given political advice, and have been told that the answer is in
                >the commentary. Does anyone know, or do they all simply trust in the previous
                >scholarship? If that's the case, isn't THAT (practically speaking) the same
                >as determining the readings "by faith"?

                This is a non sequitur. Most critics on this list have examined the
                evidence in these passages for themselves, and I believe most agree
                with the UBS editors. Therefore they have no need to offer different
                assessments of the evidence.

                As far as the reasoning of the UBS editors is concerned, if you wish
                their logic, surely it is better to read what they have said about the
                passage than to ask us to explain what we *think* they mean.

                > <<I am probably the most extreme proponent of this view; I am constantly
                > pleading for more scientific criticism. But surely it is obvious
                > to all that this method of criticism is both unacceptable and
                > completely hopeless.>>
                >
                >Is this how Dean Burgon is dealt with?

                If Dean Burgon is treated unfairly, it is because he was an acid-tongued
                man who treated his opponents as fools.

                His basic argument was Providential Preservation. Since there is
                absolutely *no* evidence that this took place, it is ignored. As
                it should be.

                I have to add another comment: Burgon argued that the majority is
                always right. Given that the majority of human beings continue
                to degrade the environment, make wars, and try to get rich at their
                neighbours' expense, is there any actual evidence supporting the
                moral advantage of the majority?

                [ ... ]

                >You don't actually base your decisions about such things on "text family"
                >theories do you?
                >My how open minded and "scientific" that would be!

                Deep irony here, since I am one of only two people on this list who
                bases my decisions *entirely* of textual families (Vinton Deering
                being the other). It's just that I don't base them on the family
                known as the Byzantine text, let alone that horridly inaccurate
                representative of the Byzantine known as the Textus Receptus.

                Still, I am willing to discuss, and even to contribute to, other
                methods, as long as they are consistently applied. If you have
                a case for any of the double-bracketed passages, present that (and
                be prepared to be attacked :-). But don't bring up faith, or the
                greater glory of God, or the divinity or humanity of Jesus
                (except as they might have coloured a scribe's responses). Follow
                that course, and you will not recieve "political" advice, or
                any criticism worse than the statement "you're wrong." :-)
                -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

                Robert B. Waltz
                waltzmn@...

                Want more loudmouthed opinions about textual criticism?
                Try my web page: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn
                (A site inspired by the Encyclopedia of NT Textual Criticism)
              • James R. Adair
                The tc-list is a forum for reasoned discussion of textual variants and related topics. It is not a place to promote one s own theological positions, however
                Message 7 of 10 , Jul 6, 1999
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                  The tc-list is a forum for reasoned discussion of textual variants and
                  related topics. It is not a place to promote one's own theological
                  positions, however deeply they may be held. This thread has deviated from
                  the purpose of the list, so as listowner I declare it to be terminated.
                  Members of the list are free to carry on any discussions that may have
                  been sparked by comments on the list in private e-mail communications, but
                  this list is not the place for such discussions. Thanks in advance for
                  your cooperation.

                  ***********************************************************
                  James R. Adair, Jr.
                  Director, ATLA Center for Electronic Texts in Religion
                  ---------------> http://purl.org/CETR <---------------

                  Listowner, tc-list
                  ***********************************************************
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