Puritan Board Freshman
Another issue is that many in our confessional bibliology circles argue for "complete certainty" rather than the more historic, and biblical, defense of the TR, put forward by EF Hills, "maximal certainty".Critical Text man Mark Ward, recently made comments about the Confessional Text position on Iron Sharpens Iron (a Reformed Baptist radio ministry). I have real difference with his argument (especially his epistemology). I said the 'which TR' is a minor sticking point for me. Mark Ward makes a number of assertions on this. I think a minor revision of the TR may bring some certainty? Do you agree? How do you respond to Dr Ward?
I wondered if this book deals with the arguments Mark Ward (and others) make.
In practice every Bible believing Christian who opens their Bible and reads it is operating within the bounds of complete certainty, or should be. The question is, upon what theology is the text you are reading compiled? and does that theology support one practically operating in any realm of certainty?
For instance, in Rev.16:5, all TR editions, up till Beza's 1598 edition, read "who wast, and art, ὁ ὅσιος the Holy One." After Beza, whose note upon the text says that he restored the correct reading from an ancient manuscript of good report, it reads ὁ ἐσόμενος "shalt be" (the reading found in our English Authorized Version and the Dutch Statenvertaling). To argue complete certainty here you absolutely have to chose one over the other or your whole argument falls apart. Upon what grounds must you argue? Providential preservation and usage. But to stay consistent with that argument (God's special providence), as TR defenders we can only have maximal certainty regarding the reading, and I see no problem with either reading. I prefer and "receive" what my most providentially blessed English translation says, "and shalt be", but I must still recognize that the Geneva Bible (and basically every reformation era translation into European languages, including the newest TBS revision of the Spanish NT) says "the Holy One". What else can we have but maximal certainty here, especially when there are good arguments for either reading?
Nevertheless, this methodology is a far cry from the rationalistic and postmodern methodologies underlying the critical text, which has created a Frankenstein text that matches no Greek testament in history before it.