Responding to James White of AOMIN

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ThomasCartwright

Puritan Board Freshman
Repeating a statement over and over doesn't make it true. The fact of the matter is that the Church has historically taught that adding to, subtracting from and changing words and phrases in the Bible is THE NORM.

As someone who makes great claims to being accurate on this forum, you should really do a modicum of research before issuing puerile statements. I can only assume you are not a Confessional adherent.

Let me set forth a simple summary of what the Reformed Church historically taught. Cognizant of the role the Received Text had in damaging the Romanist cause and giving authority to the Protestant cause, the Council of Trent (1545 – 1563) declared Erasmus was a Pelagian heretic, rejected his New Testament, and edicted that only Jerome’s Latin Vulgate was the authentic Bible . Trent’s argument was that the Scriptures are corrupted at the fount and we need an infallible church to determine the Word of God, as one can never be sure of the true text of Scripture. The Reformers argued the opposite and maintained that the Scriptures guide the church, as we have, by God’s providence, the uncorrupted fount, “by His singular care and providence kept pure in all ages.” Ironically, now many Protestants are positing that Rome was right when it sought to undermine our doctrine of Sola Scriptura on the basis of the variants they showed in their manuscripts. They argue that notwithstanding Rome’s other errors in theology, they were right about the Scriptures, and the post-Reformation dogmatists were wrong.

To try and influence the English people back to Rome, the Jesuits prepared an English New Testament translation in 1582 based upon the Vulgate which was immediately sent to England, and secretly distributed through the country. As one historian observed, “The English Papists in the seminary at Rheims perceiving that they could no longer blindfold the laity from the scriptures, resolved to fit them with false spectacles; and set forth the Rhemish translation in opposition to the Protestant versions .” The preface to this Rheims translation expressly states its purpose,

It is almost three hundred years since James Archbishop of Genoa, is said to have translated the Bible into Italian. More than two hundred years ago, in the days of Charles V the French king, was it put forth faithfully in French, the sooner to shake out of the deceived people’s hands, the false heretical translations of a sect called Waldenses.

Catholic priest, Paolo Sarpi (1552-1623) in his History of the Council of Trent recalls,

On the contrary, the major part of the Divines said, that it had been necessary to account that translation, which formerly hath been read in all the churches [Latin Vulgate], and used in the schools, to be divine and authentical, otherwise they should yield the cause to the Lutherans, and open a gate to innumerable heresies…The Inquisitors will not be able to proceed against the Lutherans, in case they know not Hebrew and Greek, because they will suddenly answer, “the text is not so,” and “that translation is false.”

Queen Elizabeth (1533 – 1603) was so concerned of the threat to English unity by the Jesuit Rhemist Bible that she sent to Beza for assistance to refute this perversion of the Received Text. It is recorded that he told her, “that one of her Majesty’s own subjects was far better qualified to defend the Protestant cause against the Rhemists; and this person, he said, was Thomas Cartwright .” It was said of Thomas Cartwright (c. 1535 – 1603), that he regarded the Vulgate as, “the Version adapted by the Rhemists… …that all the soap and nitre they could collect would be insufficient to cleanse the Vulgate from the filth of blood in which it was originally conceived and had since collected in passing so long through the hands of unlearned monks, from which the Greek copies had altogether escaped .” Brook records that,

Mr. Cartwright defended the holy Scriptures against the accusation of corruption, and maintained that the Old and New Testaments written in the original languages were preserved uncorrupted. They constituted the word of God, whose works are all perfect, then must his word continue unimpaired; and, since it was written for our instruction, admonition, and consolation, he concluded that, unless God was deceived and disappointed in his purpose, it must perform these friendly offices for the church of God to the end of the world. If the authority of the authentic copies in Hebrew, Chaldee, and Greek were lost, or given up, or corrupted, or the sense changed, there would be no high court of appeal to put an end to disputes; so that the exhortation to have recourse to the law, the prophets, and the New Testament would be of very little effect. In this case our state would be worse than theirs under the law, and in the time of Christ; yea than those who lived some hundred years after Christ, when the ancient fathers exhorted the people to try all controversies by the Scriptures. Their own Gratian directs us, in deciding differences, not to the old translation, but to the originals of the Hebrew in the Old Testament, and of the Greek in the New.

Thomas Cartwright observed this about preservation,

Woe unto the churches, if the Scriptures, the charters and records of heaven be destroyed, falsified, or corrupted. These divine charters were safely kept in one nation of the Jews; and though they were sometimes unfaithful, yet they kept the keys of the Lord’s library: but now, when many nations have the keys, it is altogether incredible that any such corruptions should enter in, as the adversaries unwisely suppose. If the Lord preserved the book of Leviticus, with the account of the ancient ceremonies, which were afterward abolished, how much more may we conclude that his providence has watched over other books of Scripture which properly belong to our times and to our salvation? Will not the Scriptures bear witness to the perpetuity of their own authority? “Secret things belong to God;” but things revealed belong to us, and to our children forever. Jesus Christ said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away.” Notwithstanding the sacred writings were disregarded, and even hated by most persons, they had been preserved entire as they were the first day they were given to the church of God. More than fifteen hundred years had elapsed, during which not any one book, nor part of any book, of canonical Scripture had been lost: and it was evident not only that the matter of the Scripture, but also the words; not only the sense and meaning, but also the manner and form of speech in them remained unaltered.

English Presbyterian clergyman, John Flavel (1627 - 1691) argued in response to a question: “What was the end of writing the word?” answered,

That the church to the end of the world might have a sure, known, standing-rule, to try and judge all things by, and not be left to the uncertainty of traditions.

Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge, William Whitaker (1548-1595) wrote the one extensive work on the subject of the Bible written by an English Reformer. In a classic riposte to the Romanist translation posited perfect preservation as an absolute necessity,

Now we, not doubtfully or only with some probable shew, but most certainly, know that this Greek edition of the New Testament is no other than the inspired and archetypal scripture of the new Testament, commended by the apostles and evangelists to the Christian church….. If God had permitted the scripture to perish in the Hebrew and Greek originals, in which it was first published by men divinely inspired, he would not have provided sufficiently for his church and for our faith. From the prophetic and apostolic scripture the church takes its origin, and the faith derives its source. But whence can it be ascertained that these are in all respects prophetic and apostolic scriptures, if the very writings of the prophets and apostles are not those which we consult?

Whitaker went on to say he accepted the Received Text handed down by faith,

Now the Hebrew edition of the old, and the Greek of the New Testament, was always held the authentic scripture of God in the Christian churches for six hundred years after Christ. This, therefore, ought to be received by us also as authentic scripture. If they doubt the major, we must ask them, whether the church hath changed its authentic scripture, or hath not rather preserved, and commended to all succeeding generations, that which was in truth authentic from the very first? If it lost that which was published by the prophets and apostles, who can defend that negligence, who excuse so enormous a sacrilege?

Whitaker also cleverly rejected the argument that the Masoretes had corrupted the Hebrew Text,

Besides, if the Jews had wished to corrupt the original scriptures, they would have laid their sacrilegious hands specially upon those places which concern Christ and confirm the faith. But in those places these fountains run so clear that one feels no lack: nay, they sometimes run far clearer than the Latin streams.

He also showed how that God protected the Scriptures in the ages,

God protects the scriptures against Satan, as being their constant enemy. Satan hath frequently endeavoured to destroy the scriptures, knowing that they stand in his way: but he hath never spent any trouble or thought upon these unwritten traditions; for he supposed that his whole object would be gained if he could destroy the scriptures. In pursuance of this plan he hath raised up such impious tyrants as Antiochus, Maximin, Diocletian, and others, who have endeavoured utterly to quench the light of scripture. Now, if religion could remain entire even when these books were lost, it would be in vain for Satan to labour with such furious efforts to remove these books.

Bishop of Salisbury and eminent Divine, John Jewel (1522-1571), who was a strong apologist against the Church of Rome, also makes clear the need of perfect preservation,

By the space of so many thousand years, the word of God passed by so many dangers of tyrants, of Pharisees, of heretics, of fire, and of sword, and yet continueth and standeth until this day, without altering or changing one letter. This was a wonderful work of God, that having so many, so great enemies, and passing through so many, so great dangers, it yet continueth still without adding or altering of any one sentence, or word, or letter. No creature was able to do this, it was God’s work. He preserved it, that no tyrant should consume it, no tradition choke it, no heretic maliciously should corrupt it. For His name’s sake, and for the elect’s sake, He would not suffer it to perish. For in it God hath ordained a blessing for His people, and by it He maketh covenant with them for life everlasting. Tyrants, and Pharisees, and heretics, and the enemies of the cross of Christ have an end, but the word of God hath no end. No force shall be able to decay it. The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Commenting on Isaiah 59:21, Calvin affirmed his belief in the perfect preservation of all the Words of Scripture in every age in the true Church,

The word of Christ shall always continue in the mouths of the faithful; there shall be some in every age who, believing with the heart unto righteousness, shall with the tongue make confession unto salvation. The word shall never depart out of the mouth of the church; for there shall still be a seed to speak Christ's holy language and profess his holy religion. Observe, The Spirit and the word go together, and by them the church is kept up. For the word in the mouths of our ministers, nay, the word in our own mouths, will not profit us, unless the Spirit work with the word, and give us an understanding. But the Spirit does his work by the word and in concurrence with it; and whatever is pretended to be a dictate of the Spirit must be tried by the scriptures. On these foundations the church is built, stands firmly, and shall stand for ever, Christ himself being the chief corner-stone.


Cambridge-educated Puritan preacher, Nicholas Gibbens also retorted in 1602,

For by these authorities it may seem apparent, that the Hebrew Text has been corrupted by the Jews: which if it be; where is the truth the Scriptures to be found, but either perished, or only remaining in that translation which the Papists so greatly magnify. For answer whereunto, we affirm and testify by the authority of the Scriptures themselves, (which is the voice of God) of the Fathers, and of the adversaries themselves; that the Scriptures in the Hebrew tongue are pure, and unspotted of all corruption.

Johannes Andreas Quenstedt (1617 - 1688) the German Lutheran dogmatician argued,

We believe, as is our duty, that the providential care of God has always watched over the original and primitive texts of the canonical Scriptures in such a way that we can be certain that the sacred codices which we now have in our hands are those which existed at the time of Jerome and Augustine, nay at the time of Christ Himself and His apostles.

English Puritan and theologian, Edward Leigh (1602 - 1671) explained why we needed confidence in a pure text for our Bibles,

If the authority of the authentical copies in Hebrew, Chaldee and Greek fall, then there is no pure Scripture in the Church of God, there is no high court of appeal where controversies (rising upon the diversity of translations, or otherwise) may be ended. The exhortations of having recourse unto the Law and to the Prophets, and of our Saviour Christ asking “How it is written,” and “How readest thou,” is now either of none effect, or not sufficient ”

The great Puritan Thomas Watson (c. 1620 - 1686) makes clear,

The devil and his agents have been blowing at Scripture light, but could never blow it out; a clear sign that it was lighted from heaven….The letter of Scripture has been preserved, without any corruption, in the original tongue.

The prodigious Puritan scholar, John Owen, who entered Oxford at 12 years old, adopted the same stance,

It can, then, with no colour of probability be asserted (which yet I find some learned men too free in granting), namely, that there hath the same fate attended the Scripture in its transcription as hath done other books. Let me say without offence, this imagination, asserted on deliberation, seems to me to border on atheism. Surely the promise of God for the preservation of his word, with his love and care of his church, of whose faith and obedience that word of his is the only rule, requires other thoughts at our hands.

Samuel Tregelles notes,

Beza’s text was during his life in very general use among Protestants; they seemed to feel that enough had been done to establish it, and they relied on it as giving them a firm basis....After the appearance of the texts of Stephanus and Beza, many Protestants ceased from all inquiry into the authorities on which the text of the New Testament in their hands was based.

Even the Anabaptist leader, Balthasar Hubmaier took this position and wrote in 1526,
Thou knowest, Zwingli, that the Holy Scripture is such a complete, compacted, true, infallible, eternally immortal speech, that the least letter or tittle cannot pass away in this book.

So strongly did the Reformers and their heirs fall back on the TR that textual critics such as Richard Bentley in 1716 derided it as “the Protestant Pope Stephens,” but admitted that “Stephens’ edition, set out and regulated by himself alone, is now become the standard. The text stands, as if an Apostle was his compositor.” Swiss Hebraist, Johannes Buxtorf (1599 –1664) defended the preservation of even the Hebrew Vowel points against the attack of Louis Cappel with studies published in 1624 and 1650. Buxtorf also affirms the purity of the Received Text in 1620,

From the extremity of the East to the extremity of the West the word of God is read with one mouth and in one manner; and in all the books that there are in Asia, Africa, and Europe, there is discernible a full agreement, without any difference whatever.

John Woodbridge notes of Rome’s influence in this attack and states, “Cappel was able to publish one of these works only with the help of the Roman Catholic apologist, Jean Morin .” Martin Klauber also notes the staunch defence of the Masoretic Text by the Reformers by noting, “Reformed scholars of the mid-seventeenth century, following the lead of Buxdorf, considered all other versions of the OT as subordinate to the Masoretic text. . . .Cappel’s theories were generally rejected in Reformed circles.” A typical pre-suppositional approach based on providential preservation was that of the Principal of the University of Edinburgh, Robert Rollock (1555-1599). He argued for the “the preservation of the divine oracles of God unto our times ” and the retention of may disputed passages such as I John 5:7, Mark 16, John 8 based on the fact that these are, “our Greek books, which we hold for authentical, have this verse and our Church receives it.” He rejected all the textual critical assaults of Rome on the Received Text by summarizing,

Thus we see then the adversaries cannot prove by these places that the Greek edition of the New Testament is corrupted, and so act authentical. Wherefore it resteth that the Hebrew edition of the Old Testament and the Greek of the New Testament is only authentical.

Henry Walker in 1642 also discerned the wiles of the Jesuit plot and argued it the supposed textual problems were “vanity” and “inventions” as, “the Pope is glad of these distractions amongst us, and would now take the opportunity to snatch away the Bible from us; he would fain take our religion away; but we hope to send him back to Rome again with a powder. Dr Narcissus Marsh (1638-1713), provost of the College of Dublin and later Archbishop of Armagh writes against one sceptic who attacked the Hebrew Masoretic Text,

It may be suspected, that the intention is to bring it into doubt, whether we have any such thing, as a true Bible at all, which we may confide in, as God’s Word…However, I doubt not, but that, by God’s Providence, as the Hebrew Text hath hitherto stood firm, so it will stand on its own bottom to wear out all assaults against it, and be, what it always was, received as the undoubted Word of God, when all the arguments and objections against it are vanish’d into smoke.

One "Reformed" critic of the TR, Greg Bahnsen admits,

Some Protestants have argued for the inspired infallibility of the vowel points in the Hebrew Old Testament (e.g., the Buxtorfs and John Owen; the Formula Consensus Helvetica more cautiously spoke of the inspiration of “at least the power of the points”). The errorless transmission and preservation of the original text of Scripture has been taught by men such as Hollaz, Quenstedt, and Turretin.

The Rhemist version was later revised by Richard Challoner in the mid-eighteenth century. He was an English convert from Protestantism who knew well the nuances of the King James Version and deliberately sought to revise the Douay-Rheims into closer conformity with the diction of the King James Version . Notwithstanding, so successful was the Authorised Version and Cartwright’s rebuttal of the Rhemist version that the devil was forced to change his strategy and attack not by the Latin but by the Greek.

Now, Tim - over to you for a list of Reformed theologians who posited an eclectic text, CT view, "inerrant in autographs only" view (you choose). When you are at it, perhaps you could set forth a Biblical presuppositional position that guides us to all the Words of God today. Despite numerous requests, this is something you seem unable to do.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
This will be my only post in the thread; I learned my lesson last time and have no desire to get involved in another textual thread -- but, I feel I have to point out, Tim, that I have cited for you before that it was quite common among the orthodox Systematicians to have reservations (to say the least) about the LXX and the text thereof as we have it today. Yes, perhaps 99.9% of scholars in the last two hundred years have had no problems saying, "Sure, Christ quoted from the LXX." But the detached, objective scholar of today does not of necessity face the same challenges as the orthodox divines did in their struggle for credibility against Rome; nor are they necessarily doing their scholarly textual work in conjunction with a profound recognition of the relationship of textual issues to other fields of theology.

I am not arguing for any of the positions below, but I will observe again four positions common amongst the orthodox theologians, all of which (except #4) I have cited for you before:

1.) Represented by Whitaker, who held that the LXX is "wholly lost" and the text of today is "a mixed and miserably corrupted document," so as to make any comparison between the NT readings and the LXX is a most fruitless endeavor (Q. 2, ch. 3)

2.) Represented by Owen, who held it not improbable at all that Christian scribes "corrected" the LXX to match the NT texts. (Heb. 10:5-7)

3.) Represented by Turretin, who held that, Yes, the apostles did sometimes make use of the LXX's reading if it satisfactorily matched the original, simply because it was in common usage in their day and so as not to trouble the minds of their readers; when, however, there was divergence, they left the LXX as corrupt and followed the true reading. (Inst. II.XIV.VII)

4.) Finally, represented by Calvin, who held that the apostles would freely quote from the LXX (see Comm. on Heb. 10:5)

With the above, I simply would request that you acknowledge the fact that hesitancy to allow the fact that the NT quotes the LXX is not simply an "AVer" or "extreme AVer" or "cult-ish" notion, wherein is constructed a fable of the LXX. Rather, it was a standard issue to which theologians were pressed in their polemic, without which they felt they could not win against Rome, for then we would need her authority to determine what the text of the OT really was; this is something with a (clearly) highly respectable Reformed pedigree and does not solely belong to "crazy, modern, minority sects." Agree or disagree, this position regarding the LXX cannot simply be brushed off hand as modern conspiracy theories, and in the spirit of Christian charity, we all should acknowledge this from now on.

And do remember, there is not an "extreme AVer" lurking in every nook and cranny; nor do all things come back to the AV or have their motivation therein, as I have assured you many times. Nor do I have any desire to convince you or any other of the truth of any position regarding the LXX (or even to argue my own position! which I have not mentioned, by the way). Again, my sole purpose in this post (so as to remove any ambiguity) is to point once and for all that distrust of the fact that the apostles quoted the LXX is not a new and novel strange position, but one that was quite important for many (not all!) of our orthodox divines.

Peace, brother.
 
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Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Sorry I can't participate in the discussion at the moment, but I gotta prepare for this — aka, Gone fishin' — could use prayer the Lord draws many into the net. Ads hit the papers on Friday. Already a good bit of interest.



Thanks,

Steve
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
Hermonta,

Yes, I believe you are correct; but I thought it best to divide him from someone like Whitaker, since I don't recall (note, he may have) Whitaker suggesting that the reason for the apparent similarities is that Christian scribes had fixed the LXX to match the NT, as Owen did. In other words, there is certainly not disharmony between the two positions; it is merely that Owen gave further explicit explanation where Whitaker remains either silent or implicit. Below is a relevant passage from his commentary on Heb. 10:5-10.

The words, therefore, in this place are the words whereby the apostle expressed the sense and meaning of the Holy Ghost in those used in the psalmist, or that which was intended in them. He did not take them from the translation of the LXX., but used them himself, to express the sense of the Hebrew text. For although we should not adhere precisely unto the opinion that all the quotations out of the Old Testament in the-New, which agree in words with the present translation of the LXX., were by the scribes of that translation transferred out of the New Testament into it, — which yet is far more probable than the contrary opinion, that the words of the translation are made use of in the New Testament, even when they differ from the original, — yet sundry things herein are certain and acknowledged; as,

(1.) That the penmen of the New Testament do not oblige themselves unto that translation, but in many places do precisely render the words of the original text, where that translation differs from it.

(2.) That they do oftentimes express the sense of the testimony which they quote in words of their own, neither agreeing with that translation nor exactly answering the original Hebrew.

(3.) That sundry passages have been unquestionably taken out of the New Testament, and inserted into that translation; which I have elsewhere proved by undeniable instances. And I no way doubt but it hath so fallen out in this place, where no account can be given of the translation of the LXX. as the words now are in it.
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
Steve,

I will be praying for you.
If there is any kind of mp3 or other media of the event be sure to pass it along!
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Just let me remind you that numbers are not always the proof in the pudding. A majority of scholars today may hold to one view over an older view

That's of course true, but there has never been a point in history where any significant number of people have held to the view that the Septuagint is a conspiracy. Only today, among a really tiny group of mostly Fundie baptists has there ever been any questioning of this.

Really! We're talking the Byzantine tradition of all things! I hope you know, Larry, which Old Testament the Greek churches use today.

And Hebrew Aramaic dialects have adopted to each other. Some even use the Hebrew alphabet.

True, and we use the Latin alphabet, but no educated person would say we're speaking Latin. It's the same with Hebrew and Aramaic. There are people who speak it, speak dead forms of it including forms of it used in Christ's time, and every single one of those people who speak it say they are different languages.

That's got to count for something.....

-----Added 5/6/2009 at 09:07:29 EST-----

Yes, perhaps 99.9% of scholars in the last two hundred years have had no problems saying, "Sure, Christ quoted from the LXX."

Larry, do you accept that? Or do I need to start contacting universities?
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
Yes, perhaps 99.9% of scholars in the last two hundred years have had no problems saying, "Sure, Christ quoted from the LXX."

Larry, do you accept that? Or do I need to start contacting universities?

We need a reference...and that's not a reference. Even if it was a reference, the word "perhaps" throws it out as a legitimate statistical reference.

You posted statistics without giving any references...now you're looking for references? That's quite a strange way to go about it.

And it won't count if you merely post that some scholars you spoke with agreed with you. I want in print references that i can personally look at to make sure you don't take it out of context.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Let me set forth a simple summary of what the Reformed Church historically taught.

Why do your summaries have to be pages long?

Last time we got down to you saying that Rob shouldn't be willing to make minor changes in the TR based on Byzantine readings. I asked why. You quoted verses like

Rev 22:19 And if any man shall diminish of the wordes of the booke of this prophecie, God shall take away his part out of the Booke of life, and out of the holie citie, and from those things which are written in this booke.

and said the "wordes of the booke of this prophecie" meant the AV. Then in the same breath you said that "God shall take away his part out of the Booke of life" didn't apply to Rob or anyone who would diminish the words of the AV. I'm still trying to figure out what you mean, and the regular cut an paste jobs don't help.

-----Added 5/6/2009 at 09:12:54 EST-----

We need a reference...and that's not a reference. Even if it was a reference, the word "perhaps" throws it out as a legitimate statistical reference.

You posted statistics without giving any references...now you're looking for references? That's quite a strange way to go about it.

I assumed that you had done a bit of research on the subject like Prufrock. I'll start getting a hold of people.
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
I assumed that you had done a bit of research on the subject like Prufrock. I'll start getting a hold of people.

Again, it's not about me and the research i did or didn't do, it's about you backing up your claims with references.

Frankly, i'm not sure why you aren't understanding this. I'm at a loss that you are not convinced that someone who spouts off statistics also has the responsibility to cite sources.

-----Added 5/6/2009 at 09:16:27 EST-----

And Tim, don't forget this part of my post...

And it won't count if you merely post that some scholars you spoke with agreed with you. I want in print references that i can personally look at to make sure you don't take it out of context.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
[In the interest of not seeing the thread wholly derailed, is this modern statistical argument truly necessary to the conversation? I think it can be readily acknowledged by all parties that the extreme majority position among textual scholars of the last century or two has been that the NT quotes the LXX; and I have already provided adequate citation that, whoever the minority are who reject that position that today, it has until recent times been an accepted orthodox position by many important theologians that the NT does not do so. Must the matter be pressed any more than this?]
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Thanks, Paul. In addition to what you say, the question is even more basic, that of the Septuagint being pre-Christian, and we don't even have to make the qualifying two centuries statement with that one.

But if Larry needs that information to help him make up his mind, I'm willing to do a bit of work.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
That's of course true, but there has never been a point in history where any significant number of people have held to the view that the Septuagint is a conspiracy. Only today, among a really tiny group of mostly Fundie baptists has there ever been any questioning of this.

Tim, it seems that you have as much riding on the existence of a "Septuagint" as those Fundie Baptists have on the non-existence of it, which means that the presentation of your case becomes no less rabid than theirs.

The fact is that modern scholarship speaks of different Greek versions of the OT Scriptures, and disowns your theory of a "Septuagint" as if it can be considered one homogonous entity.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
The fact is that modern scholarship speaks of different Greek versions of the OT Scriptures, and disowns your theory of a "Septuagint" as if it can be considered one homogonous entity.

I could be more specific and say "Greek translations of the Hebrew that Christ and several NT authors quoted from" but most understand when I say Septuagint. After all, any introduction to a copy of the Septuagint covers that. It's really basic. If it's a problem for you though, then I'll use the longer version.

But your argument falls if (Paul's numbers) 99.9 percent of the specialist in the last 200 years are right.
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
That's of course true, but there has never been a point in history where any significant number of people have held to the view that the Septuagint is a conspiracy. Only today, among a really tiny group of mostly Fundie baptists has there ever been any questioning of this.

Tim, it seems that you have as much riding on the existence of a "Septuagint" as those Fundie Baptists have on the non-existence of it, which means that the presentation of your case becomes no less rabid than theirs.

The fact is that modern scholarship speaks of different Greek versions of the OT Scriptures, and disowns your theory of a "Septuagint" as if it can be considered one homogonous entity.

Yes, Matthew. And i quoted scholars previously in this thread to show that the Septuagint is not homogeneous, and that it was preserved by the Christian community not the Jewish community.
http://www.puritanboard.com/611823-post89.html
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I could be more specific and say "Greek translations of the Hebrew that Christ and several NT authors quoted from" but most understand when I say Septuagint.

But this begs the question as to how a NT author can be proven to have quoted from a "version" which has no stable literary tradition. It can't be empirically proven, which makes one wonder why you keep arguing the point in Fundie Baptist style.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
In the interests of clarification, Tim, I only used 99.9% as a hypothetical concession to you; I thought the "perhaps" made that clear.

Incidentally, since you have not directly interacted with that post -- does this mean you will henceforth acknowledge that the position that the NT does not quote the LXX is not in actuality a modern, crazy, fundamentalist conspiracy, but rather a position with a rich Reformed pedigree? I just want to know if we'll be playing on the same page with respect to this from now on. This is my only interest in participating in this thread -- to clear this one issue up.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Incidentally, since you have not directly interacted with that post -- does this mean you will henceforth acknowledge that the position that the NT does not quote the LXX is not in actuality a modern, crazy, fundamentalist conspiracy, but rather a position with a rich Reformed pedigree? I just want to know if we'll be playing on the same page with respect to this from now on. This is my only interest in participating in this thread -- to clear this one issue up.

It's important to remember (whether all participating on the thread know it or not) that by me saying that the Septuagint (or whatever Pastor W. wants it to be called) was quoted by NT authors, and was pre-Christian according to all but a teeny, tiny, mostly fundie group of scholars.

Perhaps something insightful written on this thread by one of the specialists in the subject will change the overwhelming majorities minds, though.


Paul, whenever you say you will only post once in a thread, you can't help yourself, so just forget what you said and keep posting.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
Tim, I can't tell if you answered the question or not: will you acknowledge from now on that the position is one of important and respectable Orthodox Reformed pedigree? Will you stop claiming that it is a conspiracy created by modern, cult-like Extreme AVers?
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Paul, whenever you say you will only post once in a thread, you can't help yourself, so just forget what you said and keep posting.

*Moderator note*
Tim,

This isn't necessary and makes you sound the lesser here. He has been trying to get you to respond to something particular. I am stepping in here to warn you to keep posting in a manner that is gracious.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Tim, I can't tell if you answered the question or not: will you acknowledge from now on that the position is one of important and respectable Orthodox Reformed pedigree? Will you stop claiming that it is a conspiracy created by modern, cult-like Extreme AVers?

No, but if a significant number (say 10%) of orthodox Reformed (or Lutheran or Orthodox or Anglican) scholars who specialise in the subject, with the data that has been available for the last 100 years doubt that the Septuagint (or whatever Pastor W. wants to call it) existed BC and that NT authors didn't quote it I'll stop calling this a conspiracy theory.

Otherwise it's down there with John Gill's dragons, KJV Onlies unicorns and that scribbled on text of Revelation used by Erasmus in the making of the TR.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
Tim, I have presented evidence: please interact and tell me whether that position is part of a fundie conspiracy. Please avoid the issue the wording of generic Greek texts being made use of, and stick with the specific issue at hand.

I, personally, am not prepared to say that Owen and Turretin were involved in a KJV conspiracy; but they, too, had the LXX, the Masoretic text, and the New Testament -- they had the same data, and arrived at this conclusion.

Are you willing to say that this position (that the NT does not quote the LXX) is a modern conspiracy theory by cult-like fundamentalists? Does this position have a respectable Reformed pedigree or not? I am sorry to any readers who find this line of inquiry extremely tedious, but I want to remove any ambiguity here so that this issue can stop being raised perennially.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Evidently Tim, some of the Reformers had discussions on reliability concerning the Greek Old Testament. Notable men of the reformation have been presented to you and you seem to be neglecting that. You brought in accusations of conspiracy from KJV only fundies and such. None of us are in that camp in my opinion. None of the Reformers quoted above are in that camp. So If I were you I would cool your jets a bit.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Tim, please read carefully -- the question is not whether a Greek text (call it what you will) existed BC; it is whether that text is identical with that which we have today under the name LXX, and whether the NT quotes this text
.

Why on earth would I say that?????? That would put me into a morph of the extreme AV position!!!!!!!! That somehow God perfectly preserved a Greek OT in the same way AVers say He preserved the original autographs of the NT word for word in the TR?

Please just come out and tell me where you're going with this.


Are you willing to say that this position (that the NT does not quote the LXX) is a modern conspiracy theory by cult-like fundamentalists? I am sorry to any readers who find this line of inquiry extremely tedious, but I want to remove any ambiguity here so that this issue can stop being raised perennially.

I've made it as clear as I can. Owen was a great man, but he didn't have the resources we do today. Refer to my post above.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Tim, please read carefully -- the question is not whether a Greek text (call it what you will) existed BC; it is whether that text is identical with that which we have today under the name LXX, and whether the NT quotes this text
.

Why on earth would I say that?????? That would put me into a morph of the extreme AV position!!!!!!!! That somehow God perfectly preserved a Greek OT in the same way AVers say He preserved the original autographs of the NT word for word in the TR?

Please just come out and tell me where you're going with this.

Just say it is or no it isn't Tim. Your answer doesn't have to lead you to the extreme you are saying it will necessarily. You are avoiding the question in my opinion.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Evidently Tim, some of the Reformers had discussions on reliability concerning the Greek Old Testament. Notable men of the reformation have been presented to you and you seem to be neglecting that. You brought in accusations of conspiracy from KJV only fundies and such. None of us are in that camp in my opinion. None of the Reformers quoted above are in that camp. So If I were you I would cool your jets a bit.

Yes, we have covered that. Now we're into the last 100 years of scholarship by orthodox scholars. No neglect, just focus. You can re-read my original post on the subject, which deals with the number of scholars today who doubt that the Greek OT was pre-Christian.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
Sorry if I misrepresented you; you will note that I edited my post just in case you would think that. I think where I am going is extremely clear: I simply want you to acknowledge that the position has a respectable Reformed pedigree and is not a modern conspiracy theory by cult-like Extreme AVers. If you are unwilling to do this, then I fear that any further dialogue on textual issues will be entirely fruitless, as you will always be able to marginalize a position by saying it can only be sustained on account of a mockable conspiracy theory.

-----Added 5/6/2009 at 10:28:43 EST-----

Also, I don't think it forces you into the AV morph at all -- extreme confidence that the NT quotes the LXX based upon identical readings intrinsically supposes that we have the original wording of the LXX available.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Just say it is or no it isn't Tim. Your answer doesn't have to lead you to the extreme you are saying it will necessarily. You are avoiding the question in my opinion.

Sorry, brother, but if you can't see

Why on earth would I say that??????

means "no" then you as a mod are the one who needs to cool it on this thread. Mods typically aren't allowed to be too heavy handed on threads that they are participating in, and we all know your stance on the subject. I don't think it's fair to have to be tippy toeing around answering you on this thread. Piling on can be fun (I don't mind it) but I do like to be able to defend myself without worrying about points.

-----Added 5/6/2009 at 10:33:18 EST-----

Also, I don't think it forces you into the AV morph at all -- extreme confidence that the NT quotes the LXX based upon identical readings intrinsically supposes that we have the exact original wording of the LXX available.

No, it doesn't. At all. Those quotes just have to be different than the Hebrew, and have some similar readings from the Septuagint family. If there was any intrinsic supposition based on an AVer type of preservation the overwhelming number of learned men who specialise in the subject wouldn't make the claim.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
All right, Tim. We appear at an impasse. Could you at least grant, before closing, that those among us who are not as versed yet in modern scholarship have an excuse for clinging to older positions regarding the LXX without being a part of a modern conspiracy?
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Those quotes just have to be different than the Hebrew, and have some similar readings from the Septuagint family.

This is a specious burden of proof. (1.) It cannot be proven that they are quotations if there is no verbal equivalence. (2.) It cannot be proven they are quotations from written sources if there is no stable textual tradition, because an oral tradition can be shown to have preceded literary production. (3.) It cannot be proven that the Christian tradition has not altered Greek mss. to conform to NT statements, and all specialists in the field acknowledge that this has at least partially occurred.
 
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