EP Jargon?

Discussion in 'A capella Exclusive Psalmody' started by kevin.carroll, Feb 17, 2015.

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  1. kevin.carroll

    kevin.carroll Puritan Board Junior

    Hi, all.

    I was recently involved in a discussion with an EP'er who brought up the idea of "mediate inspiration," and seemed genuinely surprised that I had never heard of it. I suspect that it is an idea developed by some in the EP camp to battle the criticism that they do NOT sing "inspired hymns." Rather, they sing paraphrases of translations of copies of the inspired text. I asked him if he had a confessional basis for the concept, but he has not answered.

    Can anyone shed some light on this?

  2. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Moved to the EP subforum.
  3. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    And as was noted in that FB thread if EP'ers are singing "paraphrases of translations of copies of the inspired text" then the Bibles we use are also "paraphrases of translations of copies of the inspired text".
  4. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Is that a public accessible thread? I'd like to see the context.
  5. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritanboard Softy

    What?! You don't know their fringe insider jargon? Obviously you're clueless and ill-informed.
  6. kevin.carroll

    kevin.carroll Puritan Board Junior

    Well, maybe not all translations are paraphrases, but yes, we are reading translations of copies of the inspired text. And I think you are referring to a different thread.
  7. kevin.carroll

    kevin.carroll Puritan Board Junior

  8. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Is this good or bad? ;)
  9. Dearly Bought

    Dearly Bought Puritan Board Junior

    "Mediate inspiration" is just theological shorthand for saying that the Holy Scriptures as they are "translated out of the original into vulgar languages" (WLC 156) are "to be read with an high and reverent esteem of them; with a firm persuasion that they are the very Word of God" (WLC 157).
  10. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    If you do not believe in mediate inspiration, then, unless you always read Hebrew and Greek, you cannot claim to be reading the inspired word of God (albeit mediately through a translation).

    This concept is hardly an oddity that belongs to a fringe of crazy people. :duh:
  11. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    It would probably be more helpful to discussions like this if we could refrain from unhelpful ad hominem rhetoric like "fringe," unless we want to brand most or all of Presbyterianism prior to the early 1800s as "fringe." Like it or not, the Presbyterian tradition was, at least for the most part, EP. It is we who have departed, not they. That does not mean they are right, but simply calling a group "fringe" is not helpful in such discussions.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2015
  12. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Yes; let's keep it civil because otherwise
  13. kevin.carroll

    kevin.carroll Puritan Board Junior

    That's a very helpful remark. Using the word "inspiration," though, muddies the water, I think.
  14. kevin.carroll

    kevin.carroll Puritan Board Junior

    I am wondering if we aren't using the word "inspired" in two different ways. I am thinking of the process that led to the writing of the Scriptures. He seems to be using it to refer to the end product. To me, the problem with using it to describe a translation is that it raises difficulties like:

    1. Is the New World Translation inspired?
    2. Am I inspired when I prepare my own translation?
    3. If all translations are inspired, what does this do to the idea of inerrancy, since errors HAVE crept into the text, translations differ, and I can make a mistake in my own translation?

    Not trying to argue but to understand the position.
  15. Afterthought

    Afterthought Puritan Board Junior

    In a variety of churches I've attended, including an OPC congregation I used to attend, the reading of the Scriptures is prefaced with something like, "Hear the holy, authoritative, infallible, and inspired Word of God." Having gotten into a minor scuffle with a philosophy professor of mine on this very issue, I saw the importance of attributing the qualities of inspiration to a translation. But also wondering about your questions, I started a thread here. The basic answer I received was that of distinguishing between doctrine and detail within a translation (which I found easier to understand than Turretin's distinction).

    I don't think I'm qualified to answer your specific questions, so I'll leave them for others. I'll just say in addition, that whatever possible disadvantages, there are also seem to me to be disadvantages to avoiding the use of "inspired" (with the implicit qualification, "as a product") with regards to translations. I mentioned one already (apologetics with unbelievers). Also, unless the translation has the qualities of "inspiration," no layman can know with any certainty what God is teaching or has spoken; no appeals to a translation can be made in defending or teaching a doctrine as coming from the Word of God. Neither can the layman meditate on the Word of God nor be assured of the mode of salvation on the basis of God's Word and Promise nor test sermons and false doctrines nor receive the public reading of the Scriptures as the "inspired" Word of God.
  16. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Here is a quote from Matthew Winzer where he uses the term:

    “You seem to be leaving out of view the fact that the original autographs are described as being immediately inspired by God. When the sense of the original is accurately translated into another language it retains its quality as the inspired Word of God, or what may be called mediate inspiration. Hence, in Heb. 3:7ff, we read that the Holy Ghost says the words of Ps 95 in Greek (or English in our version), which was originally written in Hebrew. The fact has not been altered that this is the inspired word of God even though it has been translated into another language.”
  17. Ryan J. Ross

    Ryan J. Ross Puritan Board Freshman

    I think the confusion is terminological. To say mediated, one is simply stating "conveyed or transferred." Thus, mediated inspiration is the idea that the quality of inspiration in the original manuscript (and verbal communication) is retained in the translation. As to specific translations, the issue is whether the integrity of the inspired word is preserved in the copy.

    Respecting EP, it is my experience that most adherents are more concerned with the translation of the inspired composition than its meter or construction. EP or not, the argument that we don't sing the Word of God is untenable and ought to be eliminated from arguments against its practice. Non-EPers should rejoice that while disagreement exists, EPers are at least singing God's Word, redounding to the praise of His glorious grace.
  18. irresistible_grace

    irresistible_grace Puritan Board Junior

    Concerning the Holy Bible Mr Carroll says:
    *emphasis mine*
    And, we can be assured that in the 1650 Scottish Metrical Version of the Psalms we possess the Word of God (not a paraphrase thereof). I cannot and will not say the same for hymns "based on" Psalms [that, unlike the SMV, are not "accurate translations" from the original Hebrew text].

    In private worship, family worship and corporate worship I use the Authorized Version of God's Word. I'm not willing to use and/or argue for the use of any versions of God's Word that are not "accurately translated" [like the New World Translation that Mr Carroll keeps bringing up].

    I agree with Pastor Winzer:
    I could be wrong, but seem to me that what the Divines were referring to as providential preservation is virtually synonymous with mediate inspiration (not inspiration proper). But, what do I know?
  19. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Are there portions of the NWT, i.e. the gospel message, that can save men in the JW realm?
  20. irresistible_grace

    irresistible_grace Puritan Board Junior

    Since this thread appears to be an augment on definitions the following quote seems applicable...

    G. I. Williamson on 'Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual songs:
  21. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    People seem to have standards that they apply to Bible translation that would never be applied to any other item of literature. For instance, if I read a credible translation of Augustine's City of God, is it fair to say that I am reading Augustine? Yes, of course it is; there may be some minor translation errors, but, on the whole, it is fair to say that I am reading the words of Augustine. Why, then, do we not apply the same principle to reading translations of the Bible? A translation of the word of God is the word of God, just as a translation of the writing of Augustine is the word of Augustine.
  22. kevin.carroll

    kevin.carroll Puritan Board Junior

    First of all, if you insist on being all formal, it's Rev. Carroll and not Mr. Second, the reason I "keep bringing up" the NWT is it seems to be a fatal flaw in the position. If inspiration only applies to the verses that are translated correctly, then we are left with a version that is inspired, by this definition, in some places and not in others. Again, I am not trying to argue, but to UNDERSTAND a term that in all of my theological studies and 24 years of pastoral ministry I have never heard once before this week.

    That may very well be the case but I find the use of the word "inspired" in place of the confessional language needlessly confusing.
  23. kevin.carroll

    kevin.carroll Puritan Board Junior

    Scott, I have repeatedly and patiently asked you questions tying to understand your position and you have ignored every one of them. I have no intention of answering any of yours further without a little quid pro quo.
  24. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    The Confession uses the term "immediately inspired" when referring to that which was originally given by God (1.8). Samuel Rutherford explains this term in Due Right of Presbyteries: "Immediate inspiration maketh any saying Scripture, and not the Apostles historical relating of it out of the writings of the Prophets; though the sayings of the Prophets as they are registered in the books of Old Testament be formally Scripture, yet as cited by the Apostles they do not become Scripture, except these sayings be cited tali modo, that is, by the influence of the immediately inspiring Holy Ghost, which influence only maketh formally any saying to be Scripture."
  25. kevin.carroll

    kevin.carroll Puritan Board Junior

    Understood. My problem is not with the confessional language, but the extra-confessional use of the term "mediate inspiration." That's why if I asked if it were EP jargon, since the only time I had ever heard it used was on an adherent of that view. It is, of course, not uncommon for groups to develop their own language which they often forget others don't speak.
  26. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Are you sure? If "immediate" inspiration is defined in the terms used by the Confession and Rutherford, it seems obvious that an appeal to inspiration which has not come immediately through the influence of the Holy Spirit must be an appeal to "mediate" inspiration.
  27. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    It needs at 'The' before Reverend, and probably should use the full name. "The Reverend Mr. Carroll" would probably also be appropriate.
  28. Logan

    Logan Puritan Board Junior

    It's not a common term, granted, but when I do a google search for "mediate inspiration" I get lots of hits on Google Books from the 1800s that have nothing to do with EP, and instead define it in relation to immediate inspiration. Charles Hodge and A.A. Hodge both this terminology when speaking of God's revelation. It seems to be as much "EP jargon" as "regulative principle".
  29. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    I attempted to draw this point out in the other thread mentioned on FB.

    My asking you if there is any remnant of gospel truth in the NWT that can save a man is my answer. There is surely enough remnant there even in their illicit attempt to slander the truth. Hence, I will have to say that it has a level of inspiration present. Consider the other poor translations of God's word. The Lord preserves His truth. Again, would I ever suggest using the NWT or recommending it? Never, for it's obvious concerns, but neither would I suggest the NIV either. If a man were stuck on a island and found a copy of the NWT, could that man be saved in reading it?
  30. Jerusalem Blade

    Jerusalem Blade Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Hello Kevin,

    I had not heard the terms—as used in this thread—mediate and immediate till I came here on PB some years ago. Then while I was reading in Joel Beeke's, A Puritan Theology, I came across the terms used the same way with regard to prophecy in the Puritan era (quote from this post):

    Mediate prophecy is not the revelation of new truth from God but the Spirit-enabled interpretation of biblical prophecies and application of those prophecies to unfolding history. Garnet Milne suggests, “It is a belief in mediate prophecy, in which Scripture plays the central role, which explains why the cessation of immediate prophecy was not seen to nullify the availability of insight into the future for those who lived by the written Word of God.”

    I see from above you understand the concept involved. I think it a useful term for conveying the difference between direct inspiration and indirect. I know it's used in EP discussions (I'm not EP) but it has proper application elsewhere.
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