Re: tc-list Jesus is better.
- 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
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
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
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
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)
- 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
James R. Adair, Jr.
Director, ATLA Center for Electronic Texts in Religion
---------------> http://purl.org/CETR <---------------