Ecclesiastical Text — Response to James White

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Robert Truelove

Puritan Board Sophomore
It's my hope that this will be of help for all sides of the textual debate to have more irenic future interaction on the subject.
From my viewpoint over the years, as an observer and not a participant, I have noticed that all three Reformed camps equivocate on the meaning of 'by His singular care and providence kept pure in all ages'.

KJO: The TR is 'pure'.
ET: The Greek Text 'stream' is pure.
CT: Anything we have or ever will have is pure because God 'preserved' it.

Is this a good thumbnail of the different positions?
For a treatment of what the framers of our confession meant, see http://www.theauthorizedversion.com/reformed-confessions-of-faith-and-the-traditional-text/
 

Ken

Puritan Board Freshman
Robert,

Thank you for pursuing this, the link you provided is very helpful for understanding the Ecclesiastical Text position. As I stated in an earlier post, delving into this issue raises more questions than answers, I tend to fact check everything and the facts just don't add up.

FYI - the Logos 6 Ancient Literature Tool makes fact checking very simple!

Note: If you are looking for ancient references to a verse that is in the TR that is not in the CT, you need to do the search in a range that includes the verse; for example, if you are looking for ancient references to Acts 8:37, the passages need to be Acts: 8:36-38.

God bless you and keep you,
Ken
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
Robert, you did a brilliant and amazingly irenic job with your video. I have not made it to the end yet, but was impressed at your tone and the tenor of your response to White (admittedly a favorite of mine on numerous apologetic topics).

Jordan Cooper captures some of my own concerns in his blog: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/justandsinner/the-ecclesiastical-text-versus-the-critical-text/.

In the "count" vs. "weigh" controversy, I resonate with the same arguments that Cooper makes in his next to the last paragraph. Arguing for the reading that seems to have been accepted throughout church history (including in the early authors, Irenaeus and Justin Martyr) and attested in the majority of manuscripts (e.g., long ending of Mark) makes more sense to me than the privileging of a few "older" manuscripts. This same line of reasoning, what God has deigned to preserve, may argue effectively against the Johnannine comma.

Contrary to those in the White camp AND those in the KJVO camp, such an argument allows for textual critical discussion, weighing of evidence, and determinations that may go against the KJV while still favoring the majority tradition.

God has preserved his word. Despite the defects of textual variants, we HAVE the Word of God, whether we use a Bible based on the TR or the CT. However, Cooper raised some nuanced points that are worthy of consideration.
 

Robert Truelove

Puritan Board Sophomore
Robert,

Thank you for pursuing this, the link you provided is very helpful for understanding the Ecclesiastical Text position. As I stated in an earlier post, delving into this issue raises more questions than answers, I tend to fact check everything and the facts just don't add up.

FYI - the Logos 6 Ancient Literature Tool makes fact checking very simple!

Note: If you are looking for ancient references to a verse that is in the TR that is not in the CT, you need to do the search in a range that includes the verse; for example, if you are looking for ancient references to Acts 8:37, the passages need to be Acts: 8:36-38.

God bless you and keep you,
Ken
Ken,

I'd be happy to respond but I don't quite understand your post?
 
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Ken

Puritan Board Freshman
Robert,

Thank you for pursuing this, the link you provided is very helpful for understanding the Ecclesiastical Text position. As I stated in an earlier post, delving into this issue raises more questions than answers, I tend to fact check everything and the facts just don't add up.

FYI - the Logos 6 Ancient Literature Tool makes fact checking very simple!

Note: If you are looking for ancient references to a verse that is in the TR that is not in the CT, you need to do the search in a range that includes the verse; for example, if you are looking for ancient references to Acts 8:37, the passages need to be Acts: 8:36-38.

God bless you and keep you,
Ken
Ken,

I'd be happy to respond but I find what you said to be somewhat incomprehensible?
Robert,

Given the vagueness of the statement "somewhat incomprehensible", I will attempt to deduce what is incomprehensible.

Probably not the thank you or the point about fact checking and I will assume you know how to use hyperlinks and clicked on the hyperlink for the Logos 6 Ancient Literature Tool video.

Assuming the above statement is correct, that leaves the note. The note is concerning how to use the tool to find ancient literature associated with a particular passage that is not in the CT, the tool uses a non-TR text for searching the text.

Being a software engineer, this is not logical, why do we find references to verses that are not supposed to exist that are older than the "best manuscripts"?

I am not sure what is more disturbing, the existence of texts that supposedly did not exist or the comments by Westcott and Hort concerning what they don't believe that have a 1 to 1 correlation to what they say does not belong in the text.

I suppose the logic is that the Church Fathers quoted the Bible with verses that they thought should be in the Bible and then they were officially added later; for example:

In the Acts of the Apostles: “Lo, here is water; what is there which hinders me from being baptized? Then said Philip, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.”
I am sure these questions have been hashed over at ad nauseam with little progress on these boards, so I will hold my piece, I have probably said too much already.

God bless you and keep you,
Ken
 
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MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
You were convinced that he was making the argument that I said he was making and you agreed with me that this is an argument he is making when he brings up Muslims.
There seems to be some confusion. The argument which is unconvincing is that the ecclesiastical text only finds traction in a confessional context. It is worthless as an argument since it says nothing about the facts of the case.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
You were convinced that he was making the argument that I said he was making and you agreed with me that this is an argument he is making when he brings up Muslims.
There seems to be some confusion. The argument which is unconvincing is that the ecclesiastical text only finds traction in a confessional context. It is worthless as an argument since it says nothing about the facts of the case.
Clearly there is confusion. I had already conceded the point that someone would not necessarily find the "echo chamber" concern a persuasive argument. You agreed with me on that point by saying you found my argument unconvincing (or did you in fact find it unconvincing that you would find the argument unconvincing so you were, in fact, convinced of the concern?). Either way, you then acknowledged that James raises the concern and even agree that I accurately summarize his concern so you, in fact, agree with me:

Point 1: Here is why James is raising this concern... (you don't state that you disagree that he raises the concern but only that you find it unconvincing. OK, fine, but I was only giving explanation so you agree that the point is accurate).

Point 2: Some will find his reason unconvincing. You agree with this by finding his reasoning unconvincing.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
so you, in fact, agree with me:
If you say so. At the end of the day, his "apologetical superiority" (or whatever name one wants to call it) is worthless as an argument against the ecclesiastical text. If we agree on that we have gotten somewhere.
 

JOwen

Puritan Board Junior
This same line of reasoning, what God has deigned to preserve, may argue effectively against the Johnannine comma.
The Comma stands firm on the ground that "early authors" are witnesses to the text.
Rev. Winzer is correct. I would point out that Edmund Calamy wrote Thirteen Sermons Concerning the Doctrine of the Trinity at Salter's Hall in 1722. His A Vindication of that Celebrated Text is worthy of your time as he clearly lays out the biblical, textual, and historical reason for its inclusion. You may read it lecture here.
 
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Ken

Puritan Board Freshman
After watching several of Dr James White's debates it is more than obvious that he is not only a brilliant debater, he himself is brilliant. Though, I have some concerns that Dr White prefers winning over the truth, I am not questioning his devotion to God, that is more than apparent. For example, he will make a point at the expense of determining the truth, he can be like a shark that smells blood in the water then goes in for the kill. Also, Dr White tends to preface his points with an onslaught of ad hominem that makes the listener feel as if they question what he says, they must be a complete idiot. Not to be so critical; though, Dr White also pleads from cases that cannot be proved. For example, he argues that the translators of the KJV would agree with him completely; this is not so obvious, it is not clear that Dr White has done his due diligence on this point, this assumption is hard to prove and may be flawed.

The first Dr White debate I watched was where he made mincemeat out of Dr Jack Moorman of the Dean Burgon Society: King James Only Debate. After seeing this, I thought it was safe to dip my toe into the waters of modern Bible versions and being conservative, picked up a NKJV. I tend to read through the Bible multiple times a year and started reading the NKJV, it was not long before certain renderings sounded more like the NIV, so I went to the Hebrew and realized the KJV rendering was more faithful to the original languages. It only took a couple of these NIV type renderings to make the decision to put down the NJKV and stay with the KJV; the fear, how many of these are there and how will I find them all.

With all this, I went back and listened to the Dr James White discussion with Dr Jack Moorman again, listening carefully, Dr Moorman tried to make the points that what they were discussing could not be answered succinctly, as Dr White tends to make everything. Dr Moorman kept referring to the books he had written as having the issues for discussion. This is when I realized that Dr Moorman had the expectation that Dr White had read his books and was prepared to respond critically to Dr Moorman's positions, this could be very fruitful. Though, with the grace of an Olympic athlete, Dr James skirted the issues, it was very obvious that Dr White had not read Dr Moorman's dissertations and was not prepared to offer academic criticism.

Now the question is, what is in Dr Moorman's books and do they deserve consideration; not willing to let it go, I purchased many of Dr Moorman's books attempting to avoid the radical KJVO sites, they are not helpful. Being an engineer, I found it interesting that much of Dr Moorman's material reads like a Hubble star chart and requires a lot of patience and digging to figure out if it has merit. Interestingly, Dr Moorman's work is fact based; though, very dry. Fact checking Dr Moorman's work is very tedious; though, rewarding. Not to belittle the point, I tend to approach problems from the standpoint of a Physicist; the first rule, do not throw out data points, even if they do not agree with the expected outcome. This is the biggest issue I have with the eclectic text, selective data points versus using all of the available data.

This is where I am hoping that Dr White stops being a "data source" and continues his research and examines all of the data, it is abundantly clear listening to the Dr White/Dr Moorman debate, that Dr White was not prepared to legitimately critique the work of Dr Moorman and Dr Moorman was not prepared to not defend his work. It is of grate concern that academia has become like a gladiator pit, where survival of the fittest wins at the expense of the truth. Dr White likes to point to the few recent textual finds, what about the proof we do not have because of the complete genocide of Christians that refused to bow down to the Pope as a god, that included the destruction of ancient Biblical texts?

God bless you and keep you,
Ken
 

Captain Picard

Puritan Board Freshman
Ken, I don't see the ad hominem you do. Dr. White is, in many cases, correct that people supporting certain views are less than scholarly in their means and method (see for example, his interactions with Texe Marrs or Sam Gipp). But Dr. White doesn't say "so and so is an idiot and a fraud, therefore I win". He presents factual evidence that exposes KVJO (Not the same as the Ecclesiastical Text position here) as specious and absurd. It's not Dr. White's fault that the position is in fact specious and absurd. He should be able to say so.
 

Ken

Puritan Board Freshman
Ken, I don't see the ad hominem you do. Dr. White is, in many cases, correct that people supporting certain views are less than scholarly in their means and method (see for example, his interactions with Texe Marrs or Sam Gipp). But Dr. White doesn't say "so and so is an idiot and a fraud, therefore I win". He presents factual evidence that exposes KVJO (Not the same as the Ecclesiastical Text position here) as specious and absurd. It's not Dr. White's fault that the position is in fact specious and absurd. He should be able to say so.
Captain Picard,

I hope you are not asking me to defend Texe Marrs, Sam Gipp or the KJVO camp?

It is not obvious why a diatribe on KJVO needs to be part of the conversation when discussing the Ecclesiastical Text position or even why you bring this up?

There is no doubt that Dr James White is presenting factual evidence; though, what I find disturbing is the idea of presenting selective factual evidence, I would like to see all of the evidence weighed. The Biblical text has been under attack from the very beginning, to separate the texts into textual families and weigh each family as a single text is naive. For example, the Old Latin is one family, I find this very odd, considering the North African text and Italia texts do not follow each other. Applying secular critical text methodologies is one dimensional and works for secular documents that have not come under attack; in contrast, the Biblical text is multidimensional in it's preservation and needs to be treated accordingly.

For example, how does the destruction of the Biblical text by Diocletian that prompted Constantine to commission Eusebius to create 50 Bibles play into the equation; given, Eusebius was a devout student of Origen? More than likely, the few "better manuscripts" that support the modern translations were from this batch of Bibles.

God bless you and keep you,
Ken
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Robert, I much appreciated your presentation, and also your interaction with Dr. White. I took some notes while watching, and will share a few of them. I anticipate Dr. Oakley (aka Dr. James White) may be looking in on this thread as he is a member of the PB.

Let me open some of these thoughts with a brief quote from Dr. Ted Letis’, The Majority Text: Essays And Reviews In The Continuing Debate, from the essay, “In Reply to D.A. Carson’s ‘The King James Version Debate’ ” :

Some will fault me for not answering every objection of Carson’s, but it was only our intention to raise the old issue of presuppositions and to underscore the fact that this debate is not one between experts with data and non-experts with dogma, but rather one between experts with the same data, but different dogma—the dogma of neutrality versus the dogma of providence…(p. 204)​

Thus to relegate the Ecclesiastical Text position, per Dr. White, to being based on a “theological conclusion, not a historical conclusion” errs. In truth it is based upon both theological and historical conclusions—at least the way I present it.

James (please, if I may dispense with the formality), it is not so that I cannot “muster any meaningful historical argument” for my view, though it is true that my historical view is informed by my “theological”—presuppositional—view, as is yours. I do not neglect evidences, but I make sense of the evidences through a presuppositional lens.

In a nutshell, here is a “historical conclusion” arising from my view (please note that I take my cue from a portion of Dr. Wilbur Pickering’s chapter 5, “The History of the Text”, in his book, The Identity of the New Testament Text II, where he talks about the history and factors involved concerning the copies made from the autographs). Regarding some of the questions he seeks to answer, he says,

“What factors would be important for guaranteeing, or at least facilitating, a faithful transmission of the text of the N.T. writings? I submit that there are four controlling factors: access to the Autographs, proficiency in the source language, the strength of the Church and an appropriate attitude toward the Text.”​

He elaborates on these four points, and I’d like to focus on the first, the locales that had access to the autographs and thus would be in a good position to replicate them when they wore out and able to check with the originals—at least for the first hundred years—to verify their accuracy. I directly quote Pickering:

So who held the Autographs? Speaking in terms of regions, Asia Minor may be safely said to have had twelve (John, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Philemon, 1 Peter, 1 and 2 and 3 John, and Revelation), Greece may be safely said to have had six (1 and 2 Corinthians, Philippians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and Titus in Crete), Rome may be safely said to have had two (Mark and Romans)—as to the rest, Luke, Acts, and 2 Peter were probably held by either Asia Minor or Rome; Matthew and James by either Asia Minor or Palestine; Hebrews by Rome or Palestine; while it is hard to state even a probability for Jude it was quite possibly held by Asia Minor. Taking Asia Minor and Greece together, the Aegean area held the Autographs of at least eighteen (two-thirds of the total) and possibly as many as twenty-four of the twenty-seven New Testament books; Rome held at least two and possibly up to seven; Palestine may have held up to three (but in A.D. 70 they would have been sent away for safe keeping, quite possibly to Antioch); Alexandria (Egypt) held none. The Aegean region clearly had the best start, and Alexandria the worst—the text in Egypt could only be second hand, at best. On the face of it, we may reasonably assume that in the earliest period of the transmission of the N.T. Text the most reliable copies would be circulating in the region that held the Autographs. Recalling the discussion of Tertullian above, I believe we may reasonably extend this conclusion to A.D. 200 and beyond. So, in the year 200 someone looking for the best text of the N.T. would presumably go to the Aegean area; certainly not to Egypt. [All of the four points may be found here in this PB post]​

[End Pickering]

We may safely assume that reliable copies of the NT books proliferated in these regions. A quick jump to the end of the 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] century and beginning of the 4[SUP]th[/SUP]: in 303 AD Emperor Diocletian commenced a violent persecution of Christians in the Eastern part of the empire. All church buildings were destroyed, all sacred writings destroyed (there was even a special class of informers, which included ministers—called traditores—who would inform on those who believed and had secreted away copies of the Scriptures or other holy writings), all faithful ministers were to be arrested (till there was no more room in the prisons for them), and sacrifices to the Roman gods were required on pain of death—and vast multitudes of Christians were slain. After Diocletian died in 304, Galerius continued the persecutions with greater intensity, and other rulers continued them, and they did not completely end until Constantine became Emperor in 324.

Needless to say, copies of the Scripture were scarce. It is in the historical record that in 331 Emperor Constantine commissioned Eusebius to make 50 copies of the Bible, in order to replenish what had been destroyed. On Frederick Nolan’s view of these Bibles and how they impacted the Greek NTs see here. Interestingly, these Bibles did not catch on with the people, as there is little evidence of them proliferating in the years following. [If you look at Nolan there’s a typo: The phrase, “I have hitherto laboured to no purpose if it is not admitted”—the if should be supplied, as it’s absent.]

Nolan investigates the changes to texts like Acts 20:28, 1 Timothy 3:16, 1 John 5:7 in light of the doctrinal battles of those days, Eusebius’ personal views and contentions, as well his Imperial authority to alter the texts he produced, and internal textual evidences, such as annotations and writing styles.

Before the time of the Diocletian persecution in 303 AD the Greek texts were fairly intact, but afterwards—after the great and effective campaign to root out and destroy all Bibles, and then the replacement of them with Alexandrian-type Scriptures—there were readings that disappeared during the 3rd and 4th century struggles against the Sabellians and later the Arians. Regarding the latter, with the dominance of the Arian party in the Byzantine empire, it was those Scripture passages declaring the triunity of the Godhead and the deity of Jesus Christ that were targeted. [An extensive treatment of this historical matter to be found in Frederick Nolan’s classic, An Inquiry into The Integrity of the Greek Vulgate Or Received Text of the New Testament; multiple formats.]

It is asserted that during the 50 years (approximately 335 – 385 A.D.) the Arian party held supreme power both in the Greek church and the Imperial government, the zealous among them expunged parts of those verses they held to conduce to heresy (Acts 20:28, 1 Timothy 3:16, 1 John 5:7, among others).* We’ve seen that Constantine had ordered from Eusebius 50 complete Bibles to replace those destroyed by Diocletian, and we know the textual treasure house of Origen’s library in Caesarea was available to Eusebius (a devotee of Origen); Tischendorf, among others, was of the opinion that Sinaiticus (Aleph) and Vaticanus (B) were of that 50, though this is hotly disputed. Still, these verses (not to mention numerous others) are altered or omitted in Aleph and B, and could well have been useful in the Arian and Sabellian causes. Even among the orthodox in the 2nd and 3rd centuries the Sabellians' use of 1 John 5:7's "and these three are one" made them highly suspect in their eyes [more on this in post #104].

This would explain why 1 John 5:7 is missing in the Greek / Byzantine manuscripts of the Eastern Empire and remained intact in the Latin MSS of the Western portion of the Empire where neither Diocletian’s vendetta against the Scriptures (and Eusebius’ replacements) nor the Arian oppression had much impact. This, in part, is what Frederick Nolan investigated in his above-mentioned book. It’s a fascinating study.

______

* So fervent and violent were the anti-Nicenes, “in 357 a council at Sirium…forced Hosius, now a centenarian [a hundred years or more of age], to attend against his will and to sign [an Arian formula] after being beaten and tortured…” (from, A History of Heresy, by David Christie-Murray, p. 51). One might imagine what fervent JWs or Unitarians would do if they held the same positions of ecclesiastical and governmental authority in a country for 50 years. These are historical accounts of the Arians persecuting and torturing the orthodox believers to get them to recant owning Christ as God; if they would do this to flesh and to souls, what would they do to paper—“paper” which confirmed those beliefs they hated?

Fast forward again—this time to the 800s AD. The texts in the Greek Church remain stable during this period.

In the ninth century, during the revolutionary transition from the majuscule MSS to the minuscule, the majority text-type appeared in numerous minuscule manuscripts. Almost none of the majuscule MSS they were copied from exist. Text critic Kirsopp Lake has said of this, “It is hard to resist the conclusion that the scribes usually destroyed their exemplars when they had copied the sacred books.” This destroying of the exemplars was the ancient Jewish practice as well.

With respect to detailed knowledge of post-NT textual transmission history we have, on the one hand, besides those times we have documentation concerning, there are still dark periods where our knowledge is incomplete or utterly absent, and on the other, we have the promises and prophecies of the New Testament. My “historical conclusions” are informed by both historical evidences and by that which is indisputably true, namely, the promises of Christ, and we can see the fulfillments thereof after-the-fact of their manifestation. My understanding may be contested, I know, but I am not without “any meaningful historical argument.”

My textual history goes up to Erasmus and the later NT editors and their editions, which we all know is a battleground rife with contention, and I won’t repeat it here.
 
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Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Regarding the matter of what the framers of the Westminster Confession of Faith meant when they asserted the Scriptures had been “kept pure in all ages” (1:8), it’s an interesting question. In a nutshell this is my view: the Lord kept the true readings of the autographic Hebrew and Greek extant in all ages. Not entire perfect manuscripts, but the readings were kept intact and in the Lord’s timing put into a particular edition / editions. Above I’ve tried to indicate that, due to horrific satanic assaults on the Greek text in the 4[SUP]th[/SUP] century, there may have been a reading or more preserved in the Latin stream, not the usual MO, but a precious providence nonetheless.

James, when you said of the Ecclesiastical Text view, “It cannot answer direct questions about specific readings”, I must say I delight in answering “direct questions about specific readings”! I’ll be looking over some of those you mentioned in the video.

I call my view King James Version priority, for while I hold to the superiority of the KJV I recognize the validity and importance of other versions. The issue to me is what are the right—faithful to the autographs—readings? Many godlier men and women than I use the modern versions, and theirs are preserved Bibles, though I maintain that in certain variants they contain the preservation failed in those instances, even if not in the main.

Robert, you said, “I think if we’re going to be consistent with an objective approach that lines up with our doctrine of Scripture we can’t being going back and ‘recovering readings’ out of the Latin. We have to look at the traditional text stream that God has preserved through time.”

Well, Old Latin readings have entered into some of the Textus Receptus editions, and these the Westminster Divines had in hand as well. If the Reformation editors included them in—in God’s providence—and cases may be made from textual evidences also, these are in “the stream”.

James, I’m certainly not at all in your league as an apologist—you’re a stand-up brother in your defense of the Faith, with unique gifts—still, I am not hampered in dealing with folks, including the Bart Ehrmans of the world, from my textual position, your thoughts to the contrary notwithstanding.

Zealot: a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals. I don’t think I’m either fanatical or uncompromising, nor am I entirely ignorant. I am a man of faith, and I love to study as well, including the views of my opponents.

The production of our Bible is not meant to be a Sisyphean task, one that can never be completed. Robert, the Ecclesiastical Text position can be weakened so that it becomes but a provisional text, always waiting for new discoveries or insights—or moods, it seems, given the way the Elite NU-Text Committee changes its classifications—so that we will not have the final word of God even when the Lord appears to call us to Himself.
 
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Robert Truelove

Puritan Board Sophomore
Regarding some of the comments earlier in this thread regarding Dr White's presenting the Ecclesiastical Text position as harmful to apologetics with Muslims and the Erhman's of the world...

It is clear from Dr. White's video that he is presenting a caricature of what people like myself actually believe. Either 1) Dr. White is not aware of what most Reformed & confessional Traditional Text advocates actually believe or, 2) he is intentionally making a caricature of the position. I chose to err on the side of grace and assume that the former is the case. I am very interested to see how Dr. White chooses to represent the position moving forward.

Regardless, I tend to agree with him that a slavish, TR-Onlyism is a difficult position to maintain apologetically. However, I think a well balanced Traditional Text position is a far stronger apologetical foundation for a case for the authority of Scripture than that of reasoned eclecticism. Having said that, "what argues best" should not be considered the foundation of our doctrine. For this reason, I'd rather speak directly to the issues from a Biblical standpoint.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Robert,

I think it's hard for James to sort out which angle he's being attacked from at times. I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt as you do. I've generally heard James repeatedly note that certain Reformed positions and even Maurice Robinson's positions are not what he's generally responding to. I'd say that 90% of the time he's getting attacked by the KJVO crowd. As much as people who favor an Ecclesiastical text position such as yours or a more rigorous TR position would want him to take up their view, it's just generally not on the radar screen of the attacks coming his direction or "making a lot of noise" in the general Christian public. I'm not sure if we were to "count noses" how much it would all break out.

Just to make clear, I've been trying to defend James against overstating where his position lies or the relative weight he gives to his own position for the sake of its "apologetic value". That said, I think I probably align pretty closely to the idea of an Ecclesiastical text as opposed to some eclectic version that doesn't take into account how the Church has actually utilized the text. I actually think this dovetails into Michael Kruger's historical and apologetic work in The Heresy of Orthodoxy where he points out the collection and use of Scripture rather than taking some sort of critical historical approach that ignores how the early Church utilized books of the Bible in worship from a practical standpoint as irrelevent to the task of scholarship. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with *only* looking at how the Church has used texts and that actual Greek MSS ought to play a role but I think there is apologetic value in demonstrating a widespread use of readings rather than simply using some scientific approach that might assume that a simpler reading is preferred or that a scribe was smoothing things out, etc.
 

God'sElectSaint

Puritan Board Freshman
This was a very excellent and respectful response to Dr. James White. I really enjoyed this. This is an issue I struggle a lot in terms of determining my particular position. I would like to see a revised TR as you mentioned in this video.
 

Captain Picard

Puritan Board Freshman
Ken, I don't see the ad hominem you do. Dr. White is, in many cases, correct that people supporting certain views are less than scholarly in their means and method (see for example, his interactions with Texe Marrs or Sam Gipp). But Dr. White doesn't say "so and so is an idiot and a fraud, therefore I win". He presents factual evidence that exposes KVJO (Not the same as the Ecclesiastical Text position here) as specious and absurd. It's not Dr. White's fault that the position is in fact specious and absurd. He should be able to say so.
Captain Picard,

I hope you are not asking me to defend Texe Marrs, Sam Gipp or the KJVO camp?

It is not obvious why a diatribe on KJVO needs to be part of the conversation when discussing the Ecclesiastical Text position or even why you bring this up?

There is no doubt that Dr James White is presenting factual evidence; though, what I find disturbing is the idea of presenting selective factual evidence, I would like to see all of the evidence weighed. The Biblical text has been under attack from the very beginning, to separate the texts into textual families and weigh each family as a single text is naive. For example, the Old Latin is one family, I find this very odd, considering the North African text and Italia texts do not follow each other. Applying secular critical text methodologies is one dimensional and works for secular documents that have not come under attack; in contrast, the Biblical text is multidimensional in it's preservation and needs to be treated accordingly.

For example, how does the destruction of the Biblical text by Diocletian that prompted Constantine to commission Eusebius to create 50 Bibles play into the equation; given, Eusebius was a devout student of Origen? More than likely, the few "better manuscripts" that support the modern translations were from this batch of Bibles.

God bless you and keep you,
Ken
Ken I did not mean to imply that you were in the Gipp camp, merely responding to the charge of ad hominem by attempting to distinguish what Dr. White says about that camp versus the ET position proper. I feel the ET camp are the ones who are not distinguishing between what Dr. White has said about one and what, about the other.
 

Robert Truelove

Puritan Board Sophomore
James White did a Dividing Line this evening in which he caricatured/glossed the Ecclesiastical Text position...again. I'm honestly stunned that he would proceed to present the position in this fashion at this point. Clearly he has no interest in honestly discussing this subject nor presenting it to the public in an honest manner.

Compare my video presented two weeks ago posted at the beginning of this thread (even shared to him on his Facebook page), with this rant this evening (and it is a rant)...

Begin around 1:08:55 to start at the exact spot...He is responding to some KJVO guy but cites his prior video that I answered on The Ecclesiastical Text position.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=4322&v=ZtbFp3Qr9bA
 
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Logan

Puritan Board Junior
He is responding to some KJVO guy but cites his prior video that I answered on The Ecclesiastical Text position.
I would assume he didn't watch your video, which isn't surprising is it? You're random guy from the Internet #3,838 whose views don't coincide with anyone else he's ever dealt with.

You spent over an hour detailing a position it seems almost anyone outside of this board has never even heard of. It was kind of a long shot that he would even watch it to begin with wasn't it? It's disappointing, but not surprising.
 

Ken

Puritan Board Freshman
James White did a Dividing Line this evening in which he caricatured/glossed the Ecclesiastical Text position...again. I'm honestly stunned that he would proceed to present the position in this fashion at this point. Clearly he has no interest in honestly discussing this subject nor presenting it to the public in an honest manner.

Compare my video presented two weeks ago posted at the beginning of this thread (even shared to him on his Facebook page), with this rant this evening (and it is a rant)...

Begin around 1:08:55 to start at the exact spot...He is responding to some KJVO guy but cites his prior video that I answered on The Ecclesiastical Text position.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=4322&v=ZtbFp3Qr9bA
Dr White created his own "Ecclesiastical Text" dragon and then slayed the dragon.

God bless you and keep you,
Ken
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
He is responding to some KJVO guy but cites his prior video that I answered on The Ecclesiastical Text position.
I would assume he didn't watch your video, which isn't surprising is it? You're random guy from the Internet #3,838 whose views don't coincide with anyone else he's ever dealt with.

You spent over an hour detailing a position it seems almost anyone outside of this board has never even heard of. It was kind of a long shot that he would even watch it to begin with wasn't it? It's disappointing, but not surprising.
Considering that Dr. White's original video was made in response to a comment that Robert made on a Facebook group, then yes we should expect that he would take the time to watch Robert's video response.
 

chuckd

Puritan Board Sophomore
This same line of reasoning, what God has deigned to preserve, may argue effectively against the Johnannine comma.
The Comma stands firm on the ground that "early authors" are witnesses to the text.
Rev. Winzer is correct. I would point out that Edmund Calamy wrote Thirteen Sermons Concerning the Doctrine of the Trinity at Salter's Hall in 1722. His A Vindication of that Celebrated Text is worthy of your time as he clearly lays out the biblical, textual, and historical reason for its inclusion. You may read it lecture here.
Sorry Pastor. "If you defend the comma, you have no basis whatsoever for assuring anybody with a straight face that we continue to have the original readings of the New Testament."
 

Ken

Puritan Board Freshman
This same line of reasoning, what God has deigned to preserve, may argue effectively against the Johnannine comma.
The Comma stands firm on the ground that "early authors" are witnesses to the text.
Rev. Winzer is correct. I would point out that Edmund Calamy wrote Thirteen Sermons Concerning the Doctrine of the Trinity at Salter's Hall in 1722. His A Vindication of that Celebrated Text is worthy of your time as he clearly lays out the biblical, textual, and historical reason for its inclusion. You may read it lecture here.
Sorry Pastor. "If you defend the comma, you have no basis whatsoever for assuring anybody with a straight face that we continue to have the original readings of the New Testament."
If it was only that simple: In Defense of the Authenticity Of 1 John 5:7

God bless you and keep you,
Ken
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
I actually thought Dr. White's commentary at the end of the video was very much on point, I just don't think it particularly pertains to those who hold to the Ecclesiastical Text position.
 

Logan

Puritan Board Junior
I keep seeing references to how Dr White has caricatured "the Ecclesiastical Text position". Yet it seems to me that there is little agreement on precisely what that position is. From my perspective it seems to be mostly people unified under the umbrella of "I don't like the Critical Text."

I know Letis' views. I know Childs' views (at least as Letis applied them), I know Burgon's views, I know Hills' views, I know Steve's views, and more or less Pastor Winzer's views, Beeke's views, TBS's views, and a good portion of Pastor Truelove's views, but I don't know of any one "Ecclesiastical Text position". Some of them differ quite strongly in their fundamental reasons for their views, beliefs, and whether they'd be willing to revise the TR. The unity seems to come from having a common enemy.
 

Ken

Puritan Board Freshman
I actually thought Dr. White's commentary at the end of the video was very much on point, I just don't think it particularly pertains to those who hold to the Ecclesiastical Text position.
Exactly, Dr White attacked the Ecclesiastical position with a KJVO rebuttal; thus, implying they are one and the same.

God bless you and keep you,
Ken
 
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