Why do KJ Only types believe the Westcott and Hort manuscripts are bad?

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Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Thanks Matthew.

Some of you have asked for a copy of the piece I am in the process of finishing up on these textual matters. I attach it here.

There is a list of recommended books and websites at the end, before the endnotes. I may likely add to these.

Please note that I will be adding some more material, but not much, to what is written. I would like to interact a little with what James White has written on 1 John 5:7, as I indicated a couple of posts back. I need info from his book on the KJO Conroversy. Perhaps I can find a copy in the JCC library here!

Please don't anyone be disturbed (I ask) that I view the fundamentalist Baptists -- who are staunch opponents as regards the Doctrines of Grace -- with such favor and respect. Granted, some of them are "tough guys," such as Dr. William Grady, in this fray for the integrity of Scripture, but then so was Anglican John Burgon of the 19th century, for what was/is at issue is the molestation of the Word of their God, and they would not have it. Grady might be tough, but he is not mean. The war he wages (and I with him) is for the highest stakes. I will be honored to walk the streets of the Kingdom with him and his fellow FBs.

If the Lord grant we will contend over those issues where we differ, for the sake of the integrity of the Gospel, but, as I said, that is another battle.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Steve,

You might want to look at your previous post a couple of posts back. I have put in codes that show the unicode Greek much better. You may want to use them for ease of reading in later posts.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Bruce,

Somehow I missed your post on 7/6. Thank you for responding.

You answered my query re JW´s remark on 1 Jn 5:7 thus:

<blockquote>J. White is basically saying that it appears to him that in the matter of the Comma , the TR defenders that he has interacted with seem to "want to have it both ways." They want to use one methodology to defend the retention of the Comma, but not consistently apply the same methodology when it comes to various other places where the text of the NT could be "similarly expanded" using the same standard of textual support used to defend the Comma.</blockquote>

I appreciate that. Now what I would specifically like to know is if he gave any examples of how this "œmethodology" could be used in "œvarious other places" and thus "œoverthrow the"¦TR".

This is what Dr. White stated:

<blockquote>"œthe consistent application of their [i.e., 1 Jn 5:7 supporters] arguments would demand the utter overthrow of the TR as a Greek text of the New Testament. As I pointed out in my comments in The King James Only Controversy, there are all sorts of readings with similar manuscript support to the Comma that would, by logical necessity, have to be inserted into the TR."</blockquote>

My questions are, 1) did he say precisely what the "œmethodology" was, and 2) did he give specific examples of other "œreadings with similar manuscript support"? And 3), did he give an idea of what this "œlogical necessity"entailed? I may end up having to write and ask him myself, but since he´s already written of it, I´d prefer to learn from that.

I am wondering if the methodology he is thinking of is other than my own, as per my approach in To Break A Sword (TBAS)? I will be happy to interact with him, and that irenically, as I hold him in high esteem. But note, I am not a professional debater; I do my debating in print, after studying to answer.

One of a few things I want to do as far as revising TBAS is deal with the 1 John 5:7 section a little more thoroughly, after studying the various materials I have accumulated. I would like it to be impervious to assault, if that is at all possible, or at least be so persuasive and reasonable that many people will be able to trust the reading.

----------

Regarding the text underlying the TR, and our discussion of it specifically as pertains to 2 Peter 1:1, you said,

<blockquote>The bottom line is: "the text underlying the AV" will itself ever be a matter of debate, however limited, because there was no such thing as the Scrivener, or the TBS version, etc. before the AV came into existence. Only various critical editions and compilations, along with a manuscript "library" (scattered over Europe's scholar's desks--in universities, monasteries, and pastor's studies).</blockquote>

I believe you are correct in this. The 1611 translators used a number of Greek (and no doubt Latin) manuscripts, choosing from the best of them, and the best readings according to their combined judgment, to render the New Testament in English. An interesting study on the spiritual and academic qualifications of the translators is, Translators Revived: Biographical Notes Of The KJV Bible Translators, by Alexander McClure (available at BFT). These were extraordinary men, and I do not believe we have their equal today.

I do not believe a second work of inspiration was given by God in the production of the AV 1611 (as some erroneously do), though I do believe He was working providentially in making available the right MSS. for them to use, and in the quality of the men doing the work, and He guided them (did they not have His Spirit?), though certainly not on a par with the writing of the Scriptures. I trust that He kept His promise to keep His Word intact.

What we have in the TBS´s Textus Receptus, being a reprint of Scrivener´s Greek text, was a reconstruction of the text in retrospect (I think this is what you mean when you say "œbackward engineered") using the English AV as the guide. And yes, we can now look upon the various MSS´s readings to try to discern which they used where.

Steve
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Fred,

Thanks for "œupgrading" my Greek font. Actually, I had used your earlier posting to copy them from, as my Hebrew font did not carry over into a post and I thought my Greek might not as well, and I was in a hurry. I´m using an iBook G4 running Tiger 10.4.7, and I think I´m using Unicode. Are you saying that in the BB Code there is now a code for rending the Greek better?

On a different matter, in TBAS, on page 54, there is a list of recommended books (& websites) for the study of the textual business. I maintain that one does not need to be fluent in the original languages (I am not, though I have the lexical tools to do thorough research of words and phrases) to be conversant in these matters. As there are Greek experts who differ in these things, clearly that knowledge is not the deciding factor, though it may be helpful in discerning the gravity of the violence done to the grammar and sense of 1 John 5:7, 8, as well as in other places where excisions have been perpetrated. What is crucial is to get a grasp of the history both of the manuscripts and the people involved with them, and times in which they were written or passed through. There are many "œfingerprints" that editors and transcribers have left on the documents, and which tell us important things. The various early versions, lectionaries, and writings of the early fathers are also of great importance.

If there is someone here that knows MS Word better than I do, and can tell me how to change over from endnotes to footnotes (on each page), I would be grateful, as that would make reading the pdf file easier.

Steve
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by Jerusalem Blade
Fred,

Thanks for "œupgrading" my Greek font. Actually, I had used your earlier posting to copy them from, as my Hebrew font did not carry over into a post and I thought my Greek might not as well, and I was in a hurry. I´m using an iBook G4 running Tiger 10.4.7, and I think I´m using Unicode. Are you saying that in the BB Code there is now a code for rending the Greek better?

Yes. Unicode works better in certain fonts. I put in BBCode tags for one of the better Greek unicode fonts (GentiumAlt) and tags to increase the size of the Greek text. After experimenting for some time previously, I found this to be the best combination.

You may or may not be using Unicode. You need to see if you have a Greek keyboard selector (perhaps in language settings). You could also use the Logos Greek and/or Hebrew keyboards. That is what I use. You can go here and find out all you need to about it:

http://logos.com/support/lbs/fonts
 

turmeric

Megerator
All I knowe is I gotte the new reprint of the olde King Jimmy 1611 compleat with eccentric spellinges today.
 

Maestroh

Puritan Board Freshman
KJV and Westcott-Hort

Hello everyone. My first 'meaningful' post as the original one was a welcome to the board and who I am.

I hope not to overgeneralize - so I apologize in advance. The question in the original post is this: "Why do KJV Only types believe the Westcott and Hort manuscripts are bad?"

Before one can answer this question, however, one must decide what exactly constitues KJV Only. White did a decent job in "KJVO Controversy" of listing five different levels of 'KJVO,' but I assume we are only preoccupied with a couple of those:

1) Those who hold to Ruckmanism (correct the Greek with the English)
and
2) KJV is the inspired Word of God (and to a lesser extent)
3) The TR is the superior textual basis.

Most laymen do not really have the first inkling of how we got the Bible - at least from my own observations. Some seem to think it fell in one piece from Heaven. And it is this ignorance upon which I believe the KJV Only movement thrives. That and the following twin truth: most Protestants ESPECIALLY THOSE BORN BEFORE the 1970s used the KJV first.

This makes it easy to list a comparison graph that shows where the NIV or NASV (or whatever version) 'deletes' certain verses. It is an easy sell because if the KJV is 'older' and the newer versions are 'missing verses,' it seems to be an open and shut case.

Those who have a little more knowledge in my view START with the KJV - and then build their case going back from there. Keep in mind that I am NOT talking about Majority Text advocates such as Wilbur Pickering, Maurice Robinson, or Arthur Farstad and Zane Hodges. There IS a subtle but distinct difference in the MT and the TR - counted at over 1,800 differences. Make no mistake, this is NOT a problem if one does not hold the KJV as the 'be all and end all' of Bible translations. But back to the KJV Only defenders - and I'm thinking primarily of people like David Cloud, D.A. Waite, and David Otis Fuller (they claim Burgon, who hardly qualifies as he made 150 changes in the first 14 chapters of Matthew - dismissed as 'Burgon thought the TR needed a little modification' by the Waite-Cloud-Fuller types).

In essence, THIS is a summary of what I call the pastoral KJV Only position (not to be confused with what I call the scholarly KJV Only position such as Letis):

1) The TR is the best Greek text because it underlies the KJV.
2) If the TR and KJV come into conflict (and they do btw), the KJV is the 'final authority'
3) Those old manuscripts are 'bad' - and the only reason we have them now is because they were not used but were set aside.
4) The 'majority' of manuscripts underlie the KJV (incidentally, this argument is not even true; the TR is a stream within the larger river of the TR - sort of like the Sargasso Sea is a small portion of the Atlantic Ocean) - Erasmus used somewhere between five and eleven manuscripts (I found one source that listed eleven total - but I forget it off the top of my head).
5) THIS ONE IS CRITICAL: the reason there are no 'early manuscripts' underlying the KJV is because they were all used and wore out from constant use by Christians.
6) Westcott and Hort were 'heretics' who denied verbal inspiration - and God would not use heretics to 'restore' His Word.

Note: the scholarly position of people like Letis, Robinson, and Pickering would not place as much emphasis on points three and six as the KJV Only popular defenders do.

So why do they believe the manuscripts are bad? Those reasons can be summarized as followed (again applying this argument only to the Cloud-Waite-Fuller crowd)

1. Westcot and Hort were heretics and God would not use heretics to preserve or restore His Word (funnily enough, they drape Desiderius Erasmus in fundamentalist Baptist garb and try to minimize his allegiance to Rome - and didn't Caiaphas the high priest prophesy correctly about Jesus while Peter denied Him?)
2. Not only must a Bible be PRESERVED - it must ALSO be PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE since a preserved non-accessible Bible is meaningless. Although they write books arguing a doctrine of preservation, it would be better to call their doctrine the doctrine of mandated public accessibility - since even THEY admit the Bible was 'restored' (see Hills, "KJV Defended" online at the following link: http://www.Jesus-is-lord.com/kjvdcha8.htm )


Note Hills' words under 2f: In the Textus Receptus God corrected the few mistakes of any consequence which yet remained in the Traditional New Testament text of the majority of the Greek manuscripts.

One is inclined to wonder why it was okay for the Bible to have what by Hills' own words are MISTAKES in it - and in the same breath claim that we have always had a 'preserved Bible.'

3. It is a psychological insecurity that desperately needs CERTAINTY. Therefore - since the human mind cannot comprehend it - those manuscripts that do NOT underly the KJV? They're bad. Period. End of discussion.

Regarding Burgon's allegation of recension of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, I find it interesting that in the same breath he argues they're doctored repeatedly. Recensions tend to be proven by SAME READINGS NOT different ones.

And one final point: There are something like ten correctors that have had their hands on Aleph (Codex Sinaiticus). How can anyone possibly argue rationally that the codex wasn't used when at least ten different hands have worked on it to bring it in line with other manuscripts? It sounds to me a lot like trying to have one's cake and eat it, too.

I'm sorry for my verbosity. I enjoy discussing this issue. Incidentally, my own textual position? I do not have one yet!!! But I've done a lot of reading and am open to God's leading.

God bless those of you who take time to read this and respond.

Maestroh Bill
 

Maestroh

Puritan Board Freshman
Dear Brother Steve

Originally posted by street preacher
Why do the newer translations in Isaiah 14 call Lucifer the morning star or day star? That is blasphamous.

Sir,

It is NOT blasphemous if it is the correct rendering.

I think this type of argument is poor. It implies that Satan is the same 'morning star' as Jesus Christ. I agree with you that such would be blasphemous, but the reading of Isaiah 14 must be taken BASED ON WHAT IT SAYS - not on what our theological understanding of the passage must be.

Consider the following teaching from the KJV:

Revelation 5:5

And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

This, of course, refers to Jesus.

I Peter 5:8

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Note that in the first, it refers to Jesus; in the second the devil. Is it not blasphemous of the KJV to do this?

Of course not. They are rendering it as accurately as they know how to do.

Maestroh
 

Maestroh

Puritan Board Freshman
Doug Kutilek On Isaiah 14

Brother Steve,

Here is an article addressing what you mentioned:


http://www.kjvonly.org/doug/kutilek_notes_on_lucifer.htm


Just a brief word:

In Isaiah 14:12, the word translated "œO Lucifer" in the KJV (but with the notable variant translation in the margin of the original 1611 KJV of "œO day-star", an English word which Webster´s Third New International Dictionary says means, first of all, "œmorning star") is the Hebrew word, unique in the Hebrew Bible, heylel, written with the consonants HYLL (he-yod-lamed-lamed) and pronounced so as to rhyme with the English "œpay scale" [limits of a technical kind prevent us from presenting the precise pronunciation of this word in the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet)].

God bless,

Maestroh
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Originally posted by Maestroh
Most laymen do not really have the first inkling of how we got the Bible - at least from my own observations. Some seem to think it fell in one piece from Heaven. And it is this ignorance upon which I believe the KJV Only movement thrives. That and the following twin truth: most Protestants ESPECIALLY THOSE BORN BEFORE the 1970s used the KJV first.

An interesting observation. Here are two important questions. As these majority of laymen have nothing other than their AV to direct them how to glorify and enjoy God, who am I to unsettle their faith in it? Since faith settles itself on the divine authority of the Scriptures, is it erroneous to suppose that the Bible dropped out of heaven?

Thankyou for putting the debate about texts and translations in proper perspective. It is academic. Now it is true that academia has overrun the church as a result of society giving first place to education as the means of salvation, but I fail to see any authority given to academia in the Bible -- not in my AV, nor any other translation, nor in the TR, nor any other textual tradition. Which begs the question: from whose authority do ministers derive the right to unsettle people's faith in the Word of God by raising questions of academic interest?

For what it's worth, I have been trained in a theological college and was not raised with the AV. I believe the church is one, holy, catholic and apostolic. Hence I believe the church should hold in its hand one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Bible. How can we expect to arrive at unity of the faith, and all speak the same things, when we do not share the same supreme standard of truth? There is something to be said about that quaint nineteenth century phrase, "the common English Bible."
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
From the Trinitarian Bible Society website:

How many editions of the Textus Receptus are there?

There were approximately thirty distinct editions of the Textus Receptus made over the years. Each differs slightly from the others. There have been over 500 printings.

Are the variations between the editions of the Textus Receptus significant?

No. These variations include spelling, accents and breathing marks, word order and other minor kinds of differences. As it is stated in the preface to the Trinitarian Bible Society edition of the Textus Receptus, "The editions of Stephens, Beza and the Elzevirs all present substantially the same text, and the variations are not of great significance and rarely affect the sense".

Which edition of the Textus Receptus does the Trinitarian Bible Society print?

In the latter part of the 19th century, F. H. A. Scrivener produced an edition of the Greek New Testament which reflects the Textus Receptus underlying the English Authorised Version. This edition, published posthumously in 1894, is currently published by the Society.

How does the Scrivener edition differ from the other editions of the Textus Receptus?

F. H. A. Scrivener (1813-1891) attempted to reproduce as exactly as possible the Greek text which underlies the Authorised Version of 1611. However, the AV was not translated from any one printed edition of the Greek text. The AV translators relied heavily upon the work of William Tyndale and other editions of the English Bible. Thus there were places in which it is unclear what the Greek basis of the New Testament was. Scrivener in his reconstructed and edited text used as his starting point the Beza edition of 1598, identifying the places where the English text had different readings from the Greek. He examined eighteen editions of the Textus Receptus to find the correct Greek rendering, and made the changes to his Greek text. When he finished he had produced an edition of the Greek New Testament which more closely underlies the text of the AV than any one edition of the Textus Receptus.

[Edited on 7-10-2006 by Pilgrim]
 

Maestroh

Puritan Board Freshman
Yes, Sir

Originally posted by armourbearer
Originally posted by Maestroh
Most laymen do not really have the first inkling of how we got the Bible - at least from my own observations. Some seem to think it fell in one piece from Heaven. And it is this ignorance upon which I believe the KJV Only movement thrives. That and the following twin truth: most Protestants ESPECIALLY THOSE BORN BEFORE the 1970s used the KJV first.

An interesting observation. Here are two important questions. As these majority of laymen have nothing other than their AV to direct them how to glorify and enjoy God, who am I to unsettle their faith in it? Since faith settles itself on the divine authority of the Scriptures, is it erroneous to suppose that the Bible dropped out of heaven?

Thankyou for putting the debate about texts and translations in proper perspective. It is academic. Now it is true that academia has overrun the church as a result of society giving first place to education as the means of salvation, but I fail to see any authority given to academia in the Bible -- not in my AV, nor any other translation, nor in the TR, nor any other textual tradition. Which begs the question: from whose authority do ministers derive the right to unsettle people's faith in the Word of God by raising questions of academic interest?

For what it's worth, I have been trained in a theological college and was not raised with the AV. I believe the church is one, holy, catholic and apostolic. Hence I believe the church should hold in its hand one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Bible. How can we expect to arrive at unity of the faith, and all speak the same things, when we do not share the same supreme standard of truth? There is something to be said about that quaint nineteenth century phrase, "the common English Bible."

You make valid points.

But is not the opposite also true?

Is it not wrong for those who hold to AV superiority to displace people's faith in THEIR Bible translations as well? Particularly in light of the fact that the AV IS NOT the original text itself.

I concur with your assessment; it is an ACADEMIC issue NOT a DOCTRINAL issue. Yet I do not find it to necessarily be so that 'academia' somehow has a say in one's salvation.

I do not get on anyone's case for using the KJV; I expect the same respect in return in regards to my NASB. Yet you said something else that did catch my eye:

You wrote, "Since faith settles itself on the divine authority of the Scriptures, is it erroneous to suppose that the Bible dropped out of heaven?"

I'm assuming this question to be hypothetical as opposed as a real attempt at argumentation. Faith is fine and good AS LONG AS FAITH IS IN SOMETHING GOD REVEALED FOR US TO HAVE FAITH IN. It is one thing to say, "I have faith God has saved me."

It is another to say, "I have faith that God will let me walk on water because He let Peter do so." One is promised; the other is a conjecture.

FAITH MUST BE BASED AND GROUNDED ON EVIDENCE!!!

We have faith in the resurrected Lord; but that faith is based on EVIDENCE: a) eyewitness testimony of people who were willing to die for their beliefs; and b) the lack of a dead body to disprove the Resurrection.

Faith can only be in what God promised; and nowhere did God promise to preserve His word among a group of manuscripts, or one particular translation, or on one continent regardless of which side of the issue people are on. He told us He WOULD; all attempts at HOW are human rationale.

Hence, how does one explain to a Mormon that their translation is not true since they hold the same position 'by faith?'

Thank you for your kindness, and I hope my reply was diplomatic.

Maestroh
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Originally posted by Maestroh
Is it not wrong for those who hold to AV superiority to displace people's faith in THEIR Bible translations as well? Particularly in light of the fact that the AV IS NOT the original text itself.

I wouldn't displace people's faith in other versions except where I think it has led them into error. But as soon as you mention THEIR Bible, individualism has emerged, which is as contrary to the Bible as the devil to God. The AV has served as the common English Bible for centuries. I am not averse to other versions per se, as I agree in principle with Augustine's remark about the benefits of multiplicity. I disagree with the push to rid our world of a common English Bible. Let there be an advance in biblical translation, but unless the translation is commonly received by all, there is only regression not progression.

I concur with your assessment; it is an ACADEMIC issue NOT a DOCTRINAL issue. Yet I do not find it to necessarily be so that 'academia' somehow has a say in one's salvation.

Look at the churches. See that the ministers are always the ones advancing new ideas. Where do they learn them? Academic institutions. Where did they learn them? Well, if Francis Schaefer was right, the academies are simply coming in on the back end of a cultural/philosophical change. But by the time the change has been introduced into the churches the culture is already moving in a new direction. Why play catch up? The biblical principle is to be patient, preach the Word in season and out of season, then when the culture has gone full circle (which it will), we will be there waiting to catch them in the traditional gospel net.

I'm assuming this question to be hypothetical as opposed as a real attempt at argumentation. Faith is fine and good AS LONG AS FAITH IS IN SOMETHING GOD REVEALED FOR US TO HAVE FAITH IN. It is one thing to say, "I have faith God has saved me."

And therein lies the problem raised by academia. Their reliance upon empirical evidence is UNSURE. They might amass more evidence tomorrow and reverse the findings of today. Being unsure, faith cannot be placed in their findings. The Word of the Lord abides for ever. It is settled in the heavens.

Even if there were some readings in the traditional text which aren't genuine (notice the contrary to fact condition), they could still be received because believers have historically judged that there is nothing in them that is against the analogy of faith.

FAITH MUST BE BASED AND GROUNDED ON EVIDENCE!!!

No, faith IS THE EVIDENCE, Heb. 11:1 Sight depends upon evidence.

We have faith in the resurrected Lord; but that faith is based on EVIDENCE: a) eyewitness testimony of people who were willing to die for their beliefs; and b) the lack of a dead body to disprove the Resurrection.

That testimony is only as good as the witnesses. Where is the witness? In Scripture. Where is the persuasion that rests in the witness? It is by the Spirit in the heart of a man. Larger Catechism, answer 4.

Hence, how does one explain to a Mormon that their translation is not true since they hold the same position 'by faith?'

And here we come to the biblical model of evidence: what does their faith in translation produce so far as fruits of righteousness are concerned?

I hope my response is equally respectful.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
I almost hate to interject off the specific topic, but I have to reply to the statements concerning the nature of faith.

Maestroh,
How exactly are you defining "evidence"? Because, in a very real sense, faith or belief (syn.), in biblical parlance, is decidedly apart from what ordinarily passes for evidence.

As for the resurrection, we must believe in it (regardless of how we evaluate the "eyewitness testimony") because it is a fundamental component of the gospel--which alone is of any saving value. Thus it is included in the gospel synopsis of I Cor. 15:3-4. It is to be believed (credited) on account of the fact that it was foretold in the Scriptures.

That he appeared (vv. 5-8) to over 500 witnesses post-resurrection--including Paul long after he had left this world--is useful information, but only one of them in this place bears his witness. Rather, I believe the same testimony that promised his coming, and now witnesses to his having come (and promises a second coming)--the Holy Spirit speaking through Scripture.

I'm not saying ours isn't a reasonable faith, for it certainly is. And there is plenty of "evidence" out there for the sifting if one goes looking for it and knows what they are looking for. However, if we start insisting that faith be "grounded on evidence" (and it sounds to me as if the evidence to which you refer may be significantly beyond Scripture), then we are establishing criteria equal to or more fundamental than the Word of God. Our faith, in that case, is really in the evidence that we've decided is sufficient to stand in. True faith must be grounded in God himself, and in his Word.

What do you do when God says: "Just believe me. I'm not going to give you any more "reason" to trust me than that. I said so. Now you are obligated to believe me. On my 'say-so'. Because I am God" ?
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
Bill, my husband (streetpreacher) was not makine an arguement...he was asking a basic and honest question.
 

Maestroh

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by Contra_Mundum
I almost hate to interject off the specific topic, but I have to reply to the statements concerning the nature of faith.

Maestroh,
How exactly are you defining "evidence"? Because, in a very real sense, faith or belief (syn.), in biblical parlance, is decidedly apart from what ordinarily passes for evidence.

As for the resurrection, we must believe in it (regardless of how we evaluate the "eyewitness testimony") because it is a fundamental component of the gospel--which alone is of any saving value. Thus it is included in the gospel synopsis of I Cor. 15:3-4. It is to be believed (credited) on account of the fact that it was foretold in the Scriptures.

That he appeared (vv. 5-8) to over 500 witnesses post-resurrection--including Paul long after he had left this world--is useful information, but only one of them in this place bears his witness. Rather, I believe the same testimony that promised his coming, and now witnesses to his having come (and promises a second coming)--the Holy Spirit speaking through Scripture.

I'm not saying ours isn't a reasonable faith, for it certainly is. And there is plenty of "evidence" out there for the sifting if one goes looking for it and knows what they are looking for. However, if we start insisting that faith be "grounded on evidence" (and it sounds to me as if the evidence to which you refer may be significantly beyond Scripture), then we are establishing criteria equal to or more fundamental than the Word of God. Our faith, in that case, is really in the evidence that we've decided is sufficient to stand in. True faith must be grounded in God himself, and in his Word.

What do you do when God says: "Just believe me. I'm not going to give you any more "reason" to trust me than that. I said so. Now you are obligated to believe me. On my 'say-so'. Because I am God" ?

Brother Bruce,

I understand what you are saying so let me elaborate on what I mean.

Our faith is not a 'blind faith' in the sense that we just believe any old thing we're told is true. Such, in fact, is the opening for belief in false ideas and teachings.

God DOES give us a CERTAIN AMOUNT of evidence that points towards Him. It certainly does not meet MAN'S standards of what passes for evidence, but there is a certain rationality to it (although I concede things like the Virgin Birth and the bodily Resurrection themselves FROM THE HUMAN STANDPOINT are hardly rational). The rationale is divine not human.

We have faith in God because He commands it; we DO have SOME sight, but we do not have COMPLETE sight for if we did, faith would be completely unnecessary. Jesus didn't just come to earth and say, "Believe me." He ALSO did miracles of nature, of forgiveness, and healing of disease POINTING THE WAY to salvation. In essence, He said, "I am HE," and then PROVED who He was by His works and ultimately by the Resurrection.

SHIFTING GEARS HERE...

Furthermore, even those who argue in favor of the AV ultimately - if cornered - will argue on the basis of the evidence. The last 12 verses of Mark are considered 'genuine' because they're in so many manuscripts. In other words, they argue EVIDENCE. And within the KJV tradition are those who favor the Comma Johanneum (Maynard, Moorman, Cloud, Waite) and those who oppose it (Robinson, Letis, Pickering, Burgon, Scrivener) - and those who 'aren't sure but accept it by faith as genuine (Hills).

The 'faith' argument is fine but let's turn it out around: I have faith God preserved His Word in the (just to use an example) NIV (btw, I do not personally care for the NIV; I use the NKJV at home and the NASB at school). Why can it not be let go at that?

That's when arguments against Westcott and Hort as heretics or the supposed removing of Aleph from a trash bin come to the fore. (This incidentally is what I referred to earlier by talking about a difference in the KJV positions).

Please undersand this: I AM NOT AGAINS THE KJV BIBLE!!!

I have never entered a church and attempted to displace whatever version they were using regardless of what it is/was. I enjoy this particular discussion - and I thank God and the members here for the kindness and diplomacy and grace shown towards me, and I hope to emulate it constantly in return towards all.

I just want our particular discussion to be FACT ORIENTED - and not based on emotion. Regarding the argument that the AV has been used so long...was not the Vulgate used more than twice as long? Was not the Septuagint used for quite awhile?

The same arguments used to keep the KJV now are the same ones that were used to oppose the KJV back in 1611. Personally, I like the old story about the pastor who said, "I don't know which Bible is the best, but I know which one is the worst: the UNREAD one."

Let me finish with this and hopefully make this much clear: we have NOTHING to fear from the truth. As Warfield said in his Shorter Writings - and I'm paraphrasing here - we, as Christians, need to be open to the truths of science, philosophy, psychology, etc - we have NOTHING TO FEAR from honest investigation and ultimately the truth.


God bless you all,

Maestroh
 

Maestroh

Puritan Board Freshman
I Forgot This Part

Bruce wrote:


What do you do when God says: "Just believe me. I'm not going to give you any more "reason" to trust me than that. I said so. Now you are obligated to believe me. On my 'say-so'. Because I am God" ?

Maestroh:

You believe Him.

The problem, however, is that never did He do so in regards to what textual basis one is to use. It seems to me that ANY argument - whether it is the majority of the manuscripts on one side or the older manuscripts on the other - is based on human assumption of how God 'must' have done something.

Fact is that while we would follow what you're talking about in instances where God said it, never did God do so in regards to Bible versions. And this only moves the question back one step:

On what basis is it the KJV? Because it's older?

If that's the reason, the Greek manuscripts underlying the newer versions are older than those under the KJV. So should we not use them?

By the same token, on what basis is it the NIV?

Or any other version for that matter?

Sure there are instances when God said 'believe me,' the most immediate coming to mind being in the Garden of Eden. But while this is a good theological argument, it is not a very good textual argument.

I hold the position that the KJV is the Word of God. I also hold the position that ANY version is the word of God insomuch as it reflects the original writing. That, of course, is where faith comes in since we do not have the originals extant - so perhaps this is what you're talking about.

Thank you for your kind question, Bruce.

Maestroh
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Hello Bill,

Welcome to the discussion! You said in your first post here,

<blockquote>But back to the KJV Only defenders - and I'm thinking primarily of people like David Cloud, D.A. Waite, and David Otis Fuller (they claim Burgon, who hardly qualifies as he made 150 changes in the first 14 chapters of Matthew - dismissed as 'Burgon thought the TR needed a little modification' by the Waite-Cloud-Fuller types). [emphasis mine "“SMR]</blockquote>

What you say about Burgon and his 150 changes in Matthew of the TR, would you please provide some documentation for that?

Bill, when you use phrases like "œWaite-Cloud-Fuller types" or "œ"¦crowd" it tends to stereotype godly, scholarly individuals who are well known for their research and integrity, and sets a disparaging tone which does not facilitate respectful discussion between brothers and sisters within the royal family who might differ. Please do not think that by dismissive remarks as these such scholars "“ and others of their camp, like myself "“ can be marginalized and relegated to the ranks of the not-too-bright. I do realize that there have been those in the KJO camp who might have given you this impression, though I am glad you have stated you are not yet set in a position and are open, and I hope to show you an approach you may respect, if not adhere to. Thanks for your openness!

In the same post you said,

<blockquote>In essence, THIS is a summary of what I call the pastoral KJV Only position (not to be confused with what I call the scholarly KJV Only position such as Letis):

3) Those old manuscripts are 'bad' - and the only reason we have them now is because they were not used but were set aside.
5) THIS ONE IS CRITICAL: the reason there are no 'early manuscripts' underlying the KJV is because they were all used and wore out from constant use by Christians.
6) Westcott and Hort were 'heretics' who denied verbal inspiration - and God would not use heretics to 'restore' His Word.

Note: the scholarly position of people like Letis, Robinson, and Pickering would not place as much emphasis on points three and six as the KJV Only popular defenders do.

So why do they believe the manuscripts are bad? Those reasons can be summarized as followed (again applying this argument only to the Cloud-Waite-Fuller crowd)

1. Westcott and Hort were heretics and God would not use heretics to preserve or restore His Word (funnily enough, they drape Desiderius Erasmus in fundamentalist Baptist garb and try to minimize his allegiance to Rome - and didn't Caiaphas the high priest prophesy correctly about Jesus while Peter denied Him?)
2. Not only must a Bible be PRESERVED - it must ALSO be PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE since a preserved non-accessible Bible is meaningless. Although they write books arguing a doctrine of preservation, it would be better to call their doctrine the doctrine of mandated public accessibility - since even THEY admit the Bible was 'restored' (see Hills, "KJV Defended" online at the following link: http://www.Jesus-is-lord.com/kjvdcha8.htm)

Note Hills' words under 2f: In the Textus Receptus God corrected the few mistakes of any consequence which yet remained in the Traditional New Testament text of the majority of the Greek manuscripts.</blockquote>

Regarding your point 3) above: The quality of the old MSS [I think primarily of Vaticanus (B) and Sinaiticus (Aleph)] is not per se related to their age; one reason B and Aleph lasted so long is because they were written on vellum, which is far superior to the papyrus of most Greek MSS. One cannot say per se they lasted so long because they were set aside, but it may be an additional factor. Point 5) is just the other side of the coin: it does not mean those worn out quickest were the best; we know the material they were written on was not made to last; one cannot say they were the best because they disappeared quickly from much use, but it may be a factor.

As I said, Bill, perhaps people you have heard have spoken in clichés (I have heard them myself!), but we are trying not to do so here.

Re your 6) concerning Westcott and Hort (W&H): They are in a different category of textual scribes than Erasmus. There has been some research into the latter, and although he was on the wrong side of the disputes with Luther, particularly on Freedom of the Will (and all that that entails), he had friendships and affinities with evangelical believers, and sometimes worshipped with them, while powerfully resisting and refuting Rome, so it is not fitting to paint him a diehard Roman Catholic. As you brought Dr. Edward F. Hills, a textual scholar of the highest caliber, with a Th.D. in New Testament Textual Criticism from Harvard, into the discussion, please allow me to quote a little from him concerning Erasmus and the principles of providential preservation, and that from a scholarly prespective:


<blockquote>"œ... the Bible is God´s infallibly inspired Word which has been preserved by God´s special providence down through the ages. ... And the providential preservation of the Scriptures did not cease with the invention of printing. For why would God watch over the New Testament text at one time and not at another time, before the invention of printing but not afterward? Hence the formation of the Textus Receptus was God-guided. THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS, THEREFORE, IS A TRUSTWORTHY REPRODUCTION OF THE INFALLIBLY INSPIRED ORIGINAL NEW TESTAMENT TEXT AND IS AUTHORITATIVE. AND SO IS THE KING JAMES VERSION AND ALL OTHER FAITHFUL TRANSLATIONS OF THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS" (Hills, Believing Bible Study, p. 87).

"It was this common faith which guided Erasmus providentially in his task of editing the first printed Greek New Testament (1516). Although he was not himself outstanding as a man of faith, yet in his editing of the New Testament text he was guided by the faith of others. He was desirous of publishing an edition of the New Testament which would be well received and offend no one. Hence in his labors on the New Testament text Erasmus was probably expressing not so much his own views as the views of his contemporaries, views with which he would have become very well acquainted through his correspondence and his travels. In short, as editor of the first printed Greek New Testament, ERASMUS WAS PROVIDENTIALLY CONTROLLED BY THE COMMON FAITH IN THE PROVIDENTIAL PRESERVATION OF THE SCRIPTURES. Luther, Melanchton, Stephanus, Calvin, Beza, and the other scholars of the Reformation Period who labored on the New Testament text were similarly guided by God´s special providence. These scholars had received humanistic training in their youth, and in their notes and comments they sometimes reveal traces of this early education. But in their actual dealings with the biblical text these humanistic tendencies were restrained by the common faith in the providential preservation of Scripture, a faith which they themselves professed along with their followers. Hence in the Reformation Period the textual criticism of the New Testament was different from the textual criticism of any other book. The humanistic methods used on other books were not applied to the New Testament. In their editions of the New Testament Erasmus and his successors were providentially guided by the common faith to adopt the current text, primarily the current Greek text and secondarily the current Latin text. ... THUS THE LOGIC OF FAITH LED TRUE BELIEVERS OF THAT DAY, JUST AS IT LEADS TRUE BELIEVERS TODAY, TO THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS AS THE GOD-GUIDED NEW TESTAMENT TEXT" (Hills, Believing Bible Study, p. 63).

"It is customary for naturalistic critics to make the most of human imperfections in the Textus Receptus and to sneer at it as a mean and almost sordid thing. ... BUT THOSE WHO CONCENTRATE IN THIS WAY ON THE HUMAN FACTORS INVOLVED IN THE PRODUCTION OF THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS ARE UTTERLY UNMINDFUL OF THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD. For in the very next year, in the plan of God, the Reformation was to break out in Wittenberg, and it was important that the Greek New Testament should be published first in one of the future strongholds of Protestantism by a book seller who was eager to place it in the hands of the people and not in Spain, the land of the Inquisition, by the Roman Church, which was intent on keeping the Bible from the people" (Hills, The King James Version Defended, p. 203).</blockquote>

Westcott and Hort, on the other hand, had "“ as documentation shows "“ an agenda which was not guided by scholarly concerns, but by unfortunately more "œcarnal" motives proceeding from characters such as would probably keep them from being admitted into your own Vista Ridge Bible Church, nor allow them to even speak to a Sunday School class! And such men as these, forbidden entry into the precincts of our holy fellowships by virtue of their conduct and their doctrines, we allow to have whatever liberty they will with the sacred deposit of Scripture, even to allowing a Unitarian notorious in the London of their day to bring his Christ-denying views to bear upon what will and what will not be allowed in the New Testament pertaining to the deity of our Savior? Such men as these, their biographies and the attestations of their contemporaries and of later historians tell us, are of a class quite removed from Erasmus. I wonder if you have read the previous posts in this thread (I realized it is tediously long!), and, if I may refer you to a more detailed study, to my post above (the 1st on p. 3, if you have 50 posts to a page) and the attached study in pdf, To Break A Sword (TBAS), where I discuss these things in detail and documentation.

I am sorry for the shallow presentation that often accompanies the KJV/TR defense, and I hope to at least not encumber you with more of the same, but, as I do perceive you appreciate a more scholarly approach, to meet with you on ground we both respect and prefer.

Before signing off, I´d like answer a couple more of your points. You said of Dr. Hills,

<blockquote>Note Hills' words under 2f: In the Textus Receptus God corrected the few mistakes of any consequence which yet remained in the Traditional New Testament text of the majority of the Greek manuscripts.

One is inclined to wonder why it was okay for the Bible to have what by Hills' own words are MISTAKES in it - and in the same breath claim that we have always had a 'preserved Bible.'</blockquote>

I have addressed such phenomena in TBAS, but to briefly say here: remember when wicked queen Athaliah destroyed all the seed royal in Jerusalem, save only the infant Joash who was secretly rescued by his aunt Jehosheba and hidden away in the house of the LORD six years while the evil queen ruled supreme in Judah during that rather long period of time? Or during the reign of Emperor Diocletian, when his notorious informers, the traditores, apostates who came from the ranks of the church and went about sniffing out most copies of the Scriptures and their owners, so that they became exceeding scarce?

Such has been the case with a few portions of Scripture, the devil having hated some in particular and moved men to seek to destroy their testimony, but the Lord overruling him kept them safe in other quarters and later restored them to their rightful places of honor and witness.

It is quite a study, what happened to the various streams of textual transmission "“ from the missionaries of Syrian Antioch and elsewhere, to the mountainous regions of Italy and France, to Africa, Rome, the Byzantine Empire, etc. The state of the various churches, the great Trinitarian and Christological battles, the various editors and scribes through whose hands the manuscripts passed.

You said,

<blockquote>It is a psychological insecurity that desperately needs CERTAINTY. Therefore - since the human mind cannot comprehend it - those manuscripts that do NOT underlie the KJV? They're bad. Period. End of discussion.</blockquote>

This is an interesting thought. Given the distinctives of Reformed doctrine, that I am justified by the faith graciously given me upon regeneration, by which I am enabled to cleave to my Savior and His word, trusting in the cleansing of His blood, with His perfect righteousness imputed to me, and on top of these, the Father has actually elected me to adoption in His Son, so that I am perfectly accepted in the Beloved, and Jesus has assured me that by the command of the Father I shall never perish, but He shall raise me up at the last day, to reign in glory with Him forever. This is not the sort of stuff that begets "œpsychological insecurity"!

Rather it pertains to epistemology. How do we know what we know? Do we know anything with certainty? We know that God has spoken by His prophets, and by His Son. Some of us carefully study this phenomenon, and the transmission of His words through history, His own words and promises aiding us in this endeavor.

Perhaps you will have a different view of TR/KJV defenders as we proceed in this discussion. My views are a bit more nuanced, perhaps, than those you are used to, or so I hope!

Steve

[Edited on 7-10-2006 by Jerusalem Blade]

[Edited on 7-11-2006 by Jerusalem Blade]
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Steve,

It is well known that Burgon thought there were many places that needed correcting in the TR. His position was really closer to that of Majority Text advocates, but the TR/KJV Only folks often aren't honest enough to admit it. He attacked W & H but was not KJV Only by any stretch.

I am glad though to see that you do express some misgivings about Gail Riplinger's work.

[Edited on 7-10-2006 by Pilgrim]
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Hello Chris,

I have heard that often alleged, though I have not seen it with my own eyes. I have five of his books, and if you can direct me to a particular quote I would look it up. Actually, I have recently read views of his to the contrary; I realize they pertain to what he called the Traditional Text, and not the TR strictly. I believe his was a broad-based defense of the text underlying the common English version as opposed to B, Aleph, and D.

--------

Bill,

I gather you have a copy of James White's The King James Only Controversy at hand. May I ask you for some information from that book, as I can't locate a copy in this country? Thanks!

Steve
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
P.S. I think I've found and downloaded enough info to look into Burgon's supposed remarks, which I will now consider.

Steve

[Edited on 7-11-2006 by Jerusalem Blade]
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
As I am not near my library (I will visit my home city tomorrow, and pick up a copy of Burgon´s The Revision Revised), I have had to rely on the internet for research into our present "œJohn Burgon controversy." I looked at Doug Kutilek´s online essay, "œWHAT DID JOHN WILLIAM BURGON REALLY BELIEVE ABOUT THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS AND THE KING JAMES VERSION?", and he makes some interesting points, though there was little documentation for some assertions. When I have my copy of Burgon´s book I will look at some of Kutilek´s quotes in their context. I like to examine the arguments of my opponents, so I may study them and see if there is some truth to what they say, or if they do not have the proper perspective.

[Incidentally, on another topic, I think it profitable to look at the Fundamentalist Baptists´ (FB) reasons for opposing Calvinist "“ i.e., Biblical "“ doctrine so as to understand their views, and how they misperceive ours. I am sure our Lord thoroughly comprehended the doctrines of the Pharisees and Sadducees so as to answer them as economically and devastatingly as He did. Of course we will never speak like Him, but we can strive to approach that conciseness.]

I found an excellent (and brief!) essay on "œThe Textual Position of Dean John William Burgon," by Dr. Thomas Cassidy, which I give the URL for as it is of value in explaining away a lot of confusion regarding what Burgon meant in the statements people love to attribute to his supposed disaffection with the TR: http://www.baptistpillar.com/bd0556.htm This may be the best thing I have come across.

Another paper on Burgon´s statements regarding the TR from Dr. D.A. Waite, which gives a fuller picture: "œBurgon's Warnings on Revision of the Textus Receptus and the King James Bible": http://www.deanburgonsociety.org/DeanBurgon/dbs0804.htm#start

This is the Dean Burgon Society´s statement regarding their position, and it is reasonable: "œThe Authorized King James Bible has been, and continues to be, the God honored, most accurate, and best English translation of the inspired, inerrant, infallible, and preserved original language words of God."

At Sola Scriptura Ministries <http://thescripturealone.com/Resource.html>, I found this chapter of Dr. Hills´ on our question: The King James Version Defended, By Dr. Edward F. Hills; CHAPTER EIGHT, "œTHE TEXTUS RECEPTUS AND THE KING JAMES VERSION": http://thescripturealone.com/Hills-8.html This is an excellent view of the matters we are discussing, i.e., Burgon and the Textus Receptus, and seeing them in perspective. You might use your "œfind" feature to locate the first use of Burgon´s name, and then go to Erasmus, to see what Hills says about them both. (SSM also has info on The Ancient Text of the New Testament, By Dr. Jakob van Bruggen, a masterful, scholarly review of the failure of textual criticism in the past century: http://thescripturealone.com/VanBrug.html)

An interesting article, "œHow Dr. Hills Became a KJV Believer," By Dr. E. F. Hills: http://www.fpcr.org/blue_banner_articles/efhillsa.htm He recalls his days at Yale, and then at Westminster under Stonehouse, and the impact of Warfield´s thought on him. Scholarly reflections.

All of which is to say, if one is prayerful, patient, and diligent one may find treasures of understanding and wisdom to meet the need. Again I assert, those who place their trust in our mighty God´s design and accomplished work in providing us with His word kept intact will not be disappointed.

And let me say again, much respect and appreciation is due our FB brethren for their excellent painstaking historical and textual research as regards the preserved text. Far from the "œbackwoods hillbilly Bible-thumping ignoramuses" who-can´t-think-for-themselves stereotype, these men have carried the ball on the field of top-notch believing scholarship, where many of us Reformed "œbrains" had dropped it!

There is an article, I think by Dr. Waite (it's at home), on Chas. Hodge and B.B. Warfield, documenting their failure in the field of textual criticism, which has had a tremendous impact on the Reformed communions, for the thinking of these giants of the faith is too often taken without critical scrutiny. I've searched for it online but haven't found it.

This contention over "The Canon of Scripture and its Integrity" has raged even since the Reformation, at first between the Reformers and Rome, and then between the post-Reformation orthodox and Rome, as I am learning from Richard A. Muller's Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics Volume 2, Holy Scripture: The Cognitive Foundation of Theology (MI, Baker 1993). It is interesting, the issues that came up in those days, regarding both the Hebrew and the Greek texts, over against the Latin Vulgate of Rome, which latter the papists sought to establish as the superior and definitive Biblical text.

Today the situation between Rome and the Reformed and the texts has changed, especially with their throwing Vaticanus into the arena, as B differs more from the Vulgate than the Vulgate differs from the TR!

Steve

[Edited on 7-11-2006 by Jerusalem Blade]

[Edited on 7-12-2006 by Jerusalem Blade]

[Edited on 7-12-2006 by Jerusalem Blade]

[Edited on 7-12-2006 by Jerusalem Blade]

[Edited on 7-12-2006 by Jerusalem Blade]

[Edited on 7-12-2006 by Jerusalem Blade]

[Edited on 7-12-2006 by Jerusalem Blade]
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Criticism, as it pertains to the TR, seems to be self-defeating. I am content to accept the traditional text, i.e., canonical text, as over against critical excisions of it. I have never really been fussed to know if the odd pronoun changes here and there, and would probably expound both readings if called upon to do so. I even think some of the so-called conflations which Alexandrians accuse the TR of are actually helpful. Even if I thought Luke 24:53 was a combination of readings, my sermon would not be any different; I would first expound one reading, "praising" and then the next, "blessing." The fundamental beauty of the TR is the fact that you are provided with a full text.

I say this with no intent to repudiate modern maintainers of the TR, but I don't think you will find a defender of the traditional text in the 19th century which denied the fact of slight variations. Even Edward Hills, in the 20th century, accepted variations, although he put it down to Erasmus following the Vulgate over the traditional text. I can't remember if that claim has been substantiated or repudiated.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Originally posted by Jerusalem Blade
Hello Chris,

I have heard that often alleged, though I have not seen it with my own eyes. I have five of his books, and if you can direct me to a particular quote I would look it up. Actually, I have recently read views of his to the contrary; I realize they pertain to what he called the Traditional Text, and not the TR strictly. I believe his was a broad-based defense of the text underlying the common English version as opposed to B, Aleph, and D.

--------

I think your last sentence is correct. I think Burgon (and perhaps Scrivener as well) and other critics of W & H attacked the W-H theory and the Revised Version but did not claim infallibility for the KJV and TR as do some in our day.

Here are a couple of articles I turned up with a quick Google search:

Why Dean Burgon would NOT join the "Dean Burgon Society"

Dean Burgon: The Greatest Enemy of King James Onlyism

[Edited on 7-12-2006 by Pilgrim]
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis

Maestroh

Puritan Board Freshman
Dear Steve,

A couple of things here.

It is late tonight. I am sincerely sorry that it has taken me a day or two to get back to you. I work in a hospital laboratory and JCAHO showed up with a suprise inspection. So please do not think I'm igonring you.

For starters, I don't recall mentioning James White's book. Yes, I do have it. But please do not attempt to marginalize me as if I have read nothing on the subject. White's book is one that must be dealt with on the popular level while some others on both sides of the argument must be dealt with on a more scholarly level. (White concedes as much; he notes that Riplinger's book sold 130,000 copies - and all of the sales of some of those scholars' entire works would not total what Riplinger's one book sold). I have read on the issue and have no settled position at this time.

So let's deal with one of your important questions because I have it hand. You write, "What you say about Burgon and his 150 changes in Matthew of the TR, would you please provide some documentation for that?"

Yes sir.

"The leaders in the advocacy of this system have been Dr. Scrivener in a modified degree, and especially Dean Burgon. First, be it understood, that we do not advocate perfection in the Textus Receptus. We allow here and there it requires revision. In the text left behind by Dean Burgon, about 150 corrections have been suggested by him in St. Matthew's Gospel alone. What we maintain is the TRADITIONAL TEXT. And we trace it back to the earliest ages of which there is any record." (Edward Miller, Introduction, The Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels by Dean Burgon, ibid., pg. 5;).

And from a KJV defender, the late Dr. Theodore P. Letis, at this link:

www.truth.sg/resources/TheodoreLetisOnKJVonly.pdf

Notice this on page four of 11 of the PDF file:

"...but to date, perhaps his most important work of all has yet to see the light of day. His A Textual Commentary Upon the Holy Gospels, Largely from the Use of Materials, and Mainly Onthe Text, Left by the late Dean John William Burgon, Part I, St. Mathew, Division I, I-XIV."

Letis further notes that most of these changes were incorporated into the Majority Text of Hodges-Farstad.

You then make the following observation, quoting me and your quote follows:

Before signing off, I´d like answer a couple more of your points. You said of Dr. Hills,

(Maestroh)
Note Hills' words under 2f: In the Textus Receptus God corrected the few mistakes of any consequence which yet remained in the Traditional New Testament text of the majority of the Greek manuscripts.

One is inclined to wonder why it was okay for the Bible to have what by Hills' own words are MISTAKES in it - and in the same breath claim that we have always had a 'preserved Bible.'

(Steve)
I have addressed such phenomena in TBAS, but to briefly say here: remember when wicked queen Athaliah destroyed all the seed royal in Jerusalem, save only the infant Joash who was secretly rescued by his aunt Jehosheba and hidden away in the house of the LORD six years while the evil queen ruled supreme in Judah during that rather long period of time? Or during the reign of Emperor Diocletian, when his notorious informers, the traditores, apostates who came from the ranks of the church and went about sniffing out most copies of the Scriptures and their owners, so that they became exceeding scarce?

Such has been the case with a few portions of Scripture, the devil having hated some in particular and moved men to seek to destroy their testimony, but the Lord overruling him kept them safe in other quarters and later restored them to their rightful places of honor and witness.

REPLY:

Please understand, brother, that I have no problem with what you're saying. But when you argue from Hills' theological a priori - well, in essence, he is saying, "I believe in the doctrine of preservation of ALL AGES (WCF) - but not until 1611 (or 1516 if you prefer, TR)." In other words, all ages hardly means all ages.

I have no problem with 'restoration.' But one cannot argue restoration on one hand - and then get mad at 'restoration' by Westcott and Hort in terms of the issue of restoration. (One can, I concede, under such circumstances, argue against the THEORY of W/H - and solidly on many grounds, might I add).

But it rings hollow to say the Bible has always been preserved, but it wasn't preserved until 1611. Let me say that those who endorse the Traditional Text (Burgon, Scrivener, Hoskier, Farstad, Robinson, Oats) have a MUCH MORE solid ground on which to stand in regards to preservation. It disgusts me when people call Burgon forth as a witness in favor of 'King James Onlyism' when a simple read of his works proves he was not.

The quotes you reference - I have personally validated ALL of them. They DO accurately represent Burgon's views. I read Waite's book as well - a few of them actually - but Waite even admitted in his 1994 debate with James White (available online) that he was 'speculating' when he claimed 'heretics doctored the manuscripts.' Not once could he name any group (Arians, Ebionites, etc) who actually changed a specific passage.

Probably the better of the 19th century scholars in favor of the TT/MT was FHA Scrivener. But again, he was not KJVO, either. Scrivener pointed out in his "Plain Introduction" that one who thought I John 5:7 was authentic Scripture should have 'no weight' given to such an opinion. Scrivener was still more Burgonian than he was W/H - but he had to deal with the data he had.

I used to attend a FB fellowship. I would have less problem with what you cite if they actually TOLD THE TRUTH - about their opponents and about the KJV. We have NOTHING to fear from pursuit of the truth. But most of those folks are only calling forth Burgon as a supporter because they need 'a big name' to support them despite constantly 'deploring' scholarship.

Make no mistake: scholarship is not the be all and end all of anything. Not all scholarship is equally scholarly. And good men, good Christians, AND good scholars can disagree on some things without division.

But Letis' summation is right regarding the 20th century FBs in favor of the KJV. It is unfortunate, but it IS accurate.

I have rambled. I find your scriptural intellectual give and take stimulating. I hope that I have not said something that offended you or can be perceived as an attack on you personally or your beliefs. If I have done so, I humbly apologize now.

Note: I will interact with you in the godly manner. Please note that if I'm gone for a few days, it doesn't mean I did a 'hit and run." Also, I'm comfortable with who I am in Christ - I'm not one of those who has to have the 'last word' like we're having a 'put down contest' or something.

God bless you and thank you for your writing.

Maestroh Bill Brown
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Matthew,

Out of curiosity, I will check out Luke 24:53 to see what I can find on it.

I maintain the TR/KJV defense as both a pastoral concern and an apologetic one; the former to assure believers we do have a reliable Scripture worthy of their trust, the latter to defend the Gospel of God at its foundation, which is His word.

Some feel confident to do this with the CT, but I don't, as I showed in TBAS.

---------

Chris,

I think this short paper <http://www.baptistpillar.com/bd0556.htm> by Cassidy sheds much light on Burgon's (and Scrivener's) views on this exact matter of what I would call "a TR in flux" in their day, and why Burgon pressed Scrivener to construct the TR which the TBS now publishes. The loose ends seem to now fit together regarding Burgon's remarks about the TR.

I will look over those links you posted, and remark on them.

I am of the mind that the defense of 1 John 5:7 depends greatly on the matter of the old Latin manuscripts (not Jerome's Vulgate). There is a good bit of data available; people evidently put different spins on it. I am studying this now.

"some misgivings" about GAR's work is an understatement.

Steve
 

Maestroh

Puritan Board Freshman
Just a couple of more points.

You made reference to Westcott and Hort's agenda. Fair enough.

Did not Burgon have an agenda in keeping the last 12 verses of Mark - since he believed in baptismal regeneration?

Whether Westcot or Hort could speak at my church is irrelevant. Burgon could not do so either - nor would he wish to do so given his emphasis on ecclesiastical authority. But that argument is completely irrelevant ON BOTH SIDES.

And which Edward Hills do we believe? The one who turned in his doctoral dissertation in 1946 IN FAVOR of Westcott-Hort; or the one who wrote "The KJV Defended" in 1954? And how did he change his mind THAT fast?

He seems to have made up his mind earlier but was willing to dissemble or misrepresent his views in order to get his doctorate (see Letis, "E.F. Hills Contribution to the Revival of the Ecclesiastical Text" - Letis claims - and no, I don't have it in front of me - but he pointed out that Hills rejected the notion of textual criticism long before he left school and that for Hills it did not exist).

The personal character and theologies of Westcott and Hort are irrelevant - mostly because the manuscripts precede them by at least 1,500 years. It's not like they actually WROTE them.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Steve,

Please note I am not saying it is a conflation. It is one of W&H's classic examples of conflation, Alexandrine and Western. I don't accept it is. I am just saying that on empirical evidence to date, if it could be shown to be a conflation, I still would not have any problem with preaching on both words, since both have a traditional witness.

Maestroh,

Are you willing to acknowledge that there is a difference between the kind of text criticism going on in the Confessional period, which has given us the classical statement on preservation, and the criticism of the 19th century which excised whole texts? I regard it as a diffeence between texts and readings. It is not simply that the W&H tradition are carrying on textual criticism to a greater degree, but they are engaging in a different kind of criticism.

Blessings!
 

CDM

Puritan Board Junior
Generally speaking, do the CT defenders believe we have not had a reliable Bible with the KJV? And do the KJV/TR defenders believe the CT is not good because of W/H?

Just trying to clarify my thinking. And to boil it down to both camps suppositions.
 
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