The TR editions ?

Status
Not open for further replies.

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
Okay...big KJV debate on another board. I'm KJV...but don't buy into the whole "it was purified seven times" or "it's the ONLY EVER inspired that was preserved" (or as we like to joke, Paul used it; good enough for me!) :lol:

My arguements are against the kind of rhetoric that dismisses all translations prior to the KJV or in use at the same time as the KJV...and leaves out the possibility of ever being able to translate again using the TR instead of the W&H. That kind of absolutism could lead us into issues with foreign translations and all (ie., which of the Tagalog Bibles is the 7th "main"? It is also subjective to determine which translations were major and minor. This would be to presume that there were no major Translations amoung the Early English Translations (the Anglo-Saxons), and to reject Coverdale's, Matthew's, and Taverner's. These were not considered "minor" Translations).

So here is my question:
Something I just noticed from the Trinitarian Bible Society quote I posted.

It says what is commonly accepted as the TR was the edition done from 1633.
The KJV was done in 1611.

So the KJV had to use one of the earlier editions (erasmus's) for it's translation (that it used the Bishop's and Geneva for comparison while translating).

So there is more than one edition of the TR and the one that is commonly refered to is not the one that the KJV translators used??

And...So here is my reason for suddenly looking at the older...if they were able to accept a "newer translation" (which the KJV was...and it was not the seventh, I reject that concept, history rejects it, and probability of there not being any major translator in early english rejects it)...would it not be possible to have another modern english translation from the TR rather than W&H???

What is the Textus Receptus?

Today the term Textus Receptus is used generically to apply to all editions of the Greek New Testament which follow the early printed editions of Desiderius Erasmus. Erasmus of Rotterdam (1469?-1536), a Roman Catholic humanist, translated the New Testament into Latin and prepared an edition of the Greek to be printed beside his Latin version to demonstrate the text from which his Latin came. Erasmus used six or seven Greek manuscripts (the oldest being from the 10th century), combining and comparing them in a process in which he chose the correct readings where there were variants. On several occasions he followed the Latin and included some of its readings in his text. This edition was published in 1516. There was great interest in this Greek text, and it is the Greek text for which the volume is remembered. This New Testament was the first published edition of a Textus Receptus family New Testament.

The term was first used, however, to refer to the edition of the Greek New Testament published by the Elzevirs in 1633. The preface to this edition, written by Daniel Heinsius, includes the Latin phrase "textum ... receptum". Because of this, the 1633 edition became known as the "Textus Receptus" or the Received Text. This term has been expanded to include numerous editions of the Greek New Testament which come from the same Byzantine textual family representing the majority of the handwritten Greek manuscripts before the 16th century.

It needs to be remembered that the editions included in this family of Greek New Testaments were printed volumes. The Greek texts which preceded them were all hand-copied manuscripts which were in turn copied from copies for many hundreds of years. No two of the well over 5,000 manuscripts which are known today agree 100% with each other. In other words, the Textus Receptus was not printed from one manuscript alone.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
LadyFlynt,

There were a number of Greek texts in the Reformation era, the primary of which were, Stephen’s, Beza’s, and the Elzevirs. The TBS’s 1894 TR was put together by Scrivener to indicate the exact Greek text underlying the KJV. As a distinct Greek text it never existed before Scrivener complied it. The 1611 translators picked and chose from the different Greek texts, the previous English versions – and other language versions – when rendering the AV. The TR 1894 but gives a Greek text exactly corresponding to the English of the AV.

Here is some background on the “TRs”.

The Trinitarian Bible Society's edition contains F.H.A. Scrivener's edition of "The New Testament in the Original Greek according to the text followed in the Authorized Version" (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1894 and 1902). In the Preface this TBS edition says,

The editions of Beza, particuloarly that of 1598, and the last two editions of Stephens, were the chief sources used for the Authorized Version of 1611.

The Elzevir partners, Bonaventure and Abraham, published editions of the Greek text at Leyden in 1624, 1633, and 1641, following Beza's 1565 edition, with a few changes from his later revisions. The preface to the 1633 Elzevir edition gave a name to this form of the text, which underlies the English Authorized Version, the Dutch Statenvertaling of 1637, and all of the Protestant versions of the period of the Reformation--"Textum ergo habes,, nunc ab omnibus receptum..." The Elzevir text became known throughout Europe as the Textus Receptus or Received Text, and in course of time these titles came to be associated in England with the Stephens text of 1550.

The editions of Stephens, Beza and the Elzevirs all present substantially the same text, and the variations are not of great significance and rarely affect the sense. The present edition of the Textus Receptus underlying the English Authorized Version follows the text of Beza's 1598 edition as the primary authority, and corresponds with [Scrivener's of 1894 and 1902].​

Scrivener has a book, The Authorized Edition Of The English Bible (1611), Its Subsequent Reprints And Modern Representatives (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1910), with a section, “Appendix E. The Greek text adopted by the Translators of the Authorized Version of the New Testament", where he examines the “TRs” the translators used. It is of interest to those doing careful study in this area. It can likely be obtained in a good seminary library or even by your local library’s Inter-library Loan System (how I got mine).

So in one sense, there are a number of “TRs”. The TR, and the one underlying the AV is Scrivener’s work done in 1894, and published by the TBS. This, in my view, and that of KJV defenders, is the true Textus Receptus, as it depicts (gathers together in one edition) in Greek the various texts the translators chose and upon which they based their translation.

We hold that the Lord provided the Reformation editors with the manuscripts He wanted them to use (wherein the genuine readings were preserved), and guided their judgment in the translating. I do NOT mean by this they were “inspired,” as some erroneously hold.

The “purified seven times” view, I have seen, and although they make a case, I do not use that in my defense of the AV. I gather they bring the classic text of Psalm 12:6, 7 (AV) as their basis. That is not the way I would unpack the verses.

Does this answer your questions?

Steve
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
Yes! So the "TR" of KJV defenders, as a singular text, came AFTER the AV...but the AV came from a variety of TRs (plural) and other translations of modern language. (?)

Also...may I post your reply to the other board? It is a Christian ladies board (that several ladies here are a part of) and I think they will be glad I have an answer to my tormentive, brainstorming questions :lol:

I have an excellent librarian here (she pulled a book from the other coast for me)...if she can't do it, then I'm only 45min from Phila and can hop on over to Westminster Seminary and raid their library.
 

Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
We hold that the Lord provided the Reformation editors with the manuscripts He wanted them to use (wherein the genuine readings were preserved), and guided their judgment in the translating.

Not to spend time in an argument over this, but the above quote strikes me as a pretty big assumption.
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
Not to spend time in an argument over this, but the above quote strikes me as a pretty big assumption.

Actually, I agree with Steve on these premises...

1) God is Sovereign

2) If these weren't the manuscripts He wanted them to use and He didn't guide their judgment...then....

a) God is not Sovereign and in control

b) and we do not have the actual Word of God.
 

Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
Actually, I agree with Steve on these premises...

1) God is Sovereign

2) If these weren't the manuscripts He wanted them to use and He didn't guide their judgment...then....

a) God is not Sovereign and in control

b) and we do not have the actual Word of God.




Well, according to this line of thought, we would also have to assert:

1) God is Sovereign

2) If he didn't want critical text editions and modern translations to arise...then....

a) God is not sovereign and in control

b) and we do not have the actual Word of God.

The Word of God is found in the autographa, and unless one can infallibly say that the TR = the autographa (and I'd like to think that no one here on this board would claim enough scholarly insight to do so), then I'd say that the above assumptions are still unproven.

The EO and RCC can easily use the above line of reasoning to defend their claims to the LXX or the Vulgate respectively (and the EO do not consider the LXX to be a mere translation).

I won't continue with this any further, since it is not answering your question, and I don't want to sidetrack your thread.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Adam,

To call it an assumption is to not perceive it aright. It is a presupposition based upon the promises of God that He would preserve His Scripture.

As regards the “Critical Text arising,” this does not of itself indicate anything. Just because something is “preserved” – exists – does not mean we should use it, or that it is good. Often we are presented with choices so as to exercise our judgment. There are many bad things which are “preserved”. God has not given us a sanitized world. We are in a world of mixed things, and we learn to discriminate and thus grow in both moral and intellectual discernment.

What is needed is a history – in accord with the data we have – of the transmission and preservation of the (in this case NT) text. I do not see the CT camp holding this forth in a cogent and convincing way (I realize you may say the same thing as regards the view I posit). There is much pessimism in the textual camp of scholars as to ever recovering the NT text. See the following link for info on this:

http://www.puritanboard.com/showpost.php?p=236335&postcount=9

As LadyFlynt asks, do we not, in your view, have a text of the Scripture we can trust? And I would add, “only in the main, and not in the minutiae?”

Have you followed any of the threads here which discuss the relation between the autographs and the TR 1894/AV?

------

LadyFlynt, of course you may post what I have written where you will.

Steve
 

Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
Adam,

To call it an assumption is to not perceive it aright. It is a presupposition based upon the promises of God that He would preserve His Scripture.


It is a presupposition that rests upon the assumption of questionable exegesis.

The only biblical support that I have heard in this regard are verses such as Psalm 119:89. Yet, it is easy enough to understand that this verse is extolling the virtues and the finality of God's authoritative word in the heavens, and that, even if it is speaking particularly to the words that the prophets and apostles have written standing eternal in the heavens in some form, it in no way is a promise that these words have been preserved at all times and in all places for the church. It simply says nothing about that issue, and this meaning must be read into it.

What should we say (presuming the TR to be fully accurate) of the churches throughout time who have not had access to these few late texts, and who may not have even know of their existence? What if they were making the same claims that you are making, and being convinced of them, even though their text differed from the TR? Now imagine that you are doing the same thing. You are arguing for the superiority of a few late mss. when since the time of the TR's use, thousands of mss., many from much earlier dates, have been discovered in the providence of God? Would your position be any different than those in the early church who had a different text than you, and who would insist upon its superiority, even when they had (unbeknownst to them) an inferior copy of the Scriptures?



As regards the “Critical Text arising,” this does not of itself indicate anything. Just because something is “preserved” – exists – does not mean we should use it, or that it is good. Often we are presented with choices so as to exercise our judgment. There are many bad things which are “preserved”. God has not given us a sanitized world. We are in a world of mixed things, and we learn to discriminate and thus grow in both moral and intellectual discernment.


Or it may indeed mean something. We should indeed use discernment and sound judgment based upon what we have before us, and what we know from our studies. So, for example, when I am preaching or teaching from Paul's epistle to the church in Philippi, and I have the understanding that one of the papyri that was formerly dated to ca. AD 200 has now been reevaluated and given a date of ca. AD 90/95 (mere decades after the original was penned), and that although it often agrees with the Byz text (which is by no means identical to the TR in all regards) it differs significantly at several points, and makes better sense of the passage, and has overwhelming support from other texts (which were also written considerably earlier than the TR), I take that as a good reason to accept it as being identical to the original text at those points.



What is needed is a history – in accord with the data we have – of the transmission and preservation of the (in this case NT) text. I do not see the CT camp holding this forth in a cogent and convincing way (I realize you may say the same thing as regards the view I posit). There is much pessimism in the textual camp of scholars as to ever recovering the NT text.


No need for pessimism, merely a need for the hard work of the study. It's not all gloom and doom anyway, the majority of all manuscript types hold a vast agreement in most passages.



As LadyFlynt asks, do we not, in your view, have a text of the Scripture we can trust? And I would add, “only in the main, and not in the minutiae?”


Of course, and I trust mine in both the "main and minutiae". It's just that the main is easily discernible, and the minutiae is often found in the details that I have to work at hard before the Lord, in prayer and discerning study, to acquire. That's the job of a minister before the Lord and before his congregation, to preach what he is convinced as being the Word. I wouldn't care if the United Church of the World said, "you must only use text 'A', we have ascertained it to be the true text", if my study led me to believe that they hadn't done their homework, and that text 'B' was actually a much stronger text, guess upon which one I would be preaching? So I follow my conscience in my study, and I work hard at it. Often I prefer the TR/Byz reading, but sometimes it is obvious that they flat out missed the boat.

My faith in Christ isn't shaken if (to use a frequently occurring example) the TR uses the definite article in a passage, and all other mss. don't; it ends up meaning substantially the same thing linguistically anyways (which is often the case with the variants).

I've been promised faith in Christ, His work, and His return; I've not been promised the ability to fathom all textual mysteries, nor the ability to comprehend all theological conundrums. So temporary tension about the minutiae doesn't bother me in the least. It just gives me motivation to study harder :cool:

Have you followed any of the threads here which discuss the relation between the autographs and the TR 1894/AV?


Not to come across as being disrespectful brother, but I skimmed most of them, and much of it just seemed like the TR propaganda that I've read in abundance elsewhere. I know that's not your view of it, but that's my :2cents:
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
So you believe W&H to be superior then?

Oh, well...can't win them all...


A manuscript predating does not make it better.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Questionable exegesis? Adam, if you haven’t seen me exposit a verse how can you question my exegesis?

The Lord Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” This is not a textual issue as the words in Matthew 4:4 are not contested anywhere. His words do give rise to a theological issue: implicit in the saying is that by every word of His we live, and such being so He will see to it that we have what we need in order to live. He has also said,

…His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us unto glory and virtue:

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature…(2 Peter 1:3, 4)​

Can He not fulfill these promises, He of whom it is written, that He “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will”? (Ephesians 1:11)

In Matthew 24:35 our King says, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” May I take this literally? Is there any other way to take it? Is not implicit in this saying that He shall preserve His word in this world and in the next? This is not a textual issue as this also is not a contested verse.

Isaiah 40:8 – “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever.” What, only in Heaven? And not here where it is that by which man lives?

Are not the promises of our having His words kept intact for us sufficient to base a doctrine on them, the doctrine that He would preserve our Scripture? Is the above exegesis questionable?

If you say you could apply them to your Critical Text as well, what will you answer regarding Matthew 1:7, 10, where Asaph and Amos replace the rightful ancestors, Asa and Amon, of Christ’s genealogy? This is the reading of the Greek Critical Text, although only the ESV and a handful of others dare print it (for it implies the autographs themselves were in error). I bring only this example up, although there are a multitude of others.

Yes, you are right, in the main ALL the texts agree; but we are talking minutiae, the small details, the jots and tittles.

Am I here indulging in “propaganda,” or is this scholarship?

Steve
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
And one more wonderful verse which posits His providential care for His words:

As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever. (Isaiah 59:21)​

What have I to stand on but the promises of God? But on them I can stand!

Steve
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Am I here indulging in “propaganda,” or is this scholarship?

I take it to be scholarship wed to piety. To those who believe in the separation of the two, it may look like propaganda. Biblical Christianity, however, teaches that one must believe first, and then speak. We should not be tying our colours to the mast of doubtful speculations -- which is what the adoption of the critical text requires of us.
 

Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
Sorry for the delay, studies you know.


Steve,

I'm grateful to see your passion for God's Word, but those texts that you cited still don't prove the point that you are attempting to make regarding the TR. The passages in the Gospel of Matthew, 2 Peter, and Paul's letter to the Ephesian church, while they all prove the power and edifying grace that is contained in the Scriptures, still none of them assert that the church would have all the Words of God at all times. That is a theological standpoint that must be read into them.

What about the earliest churches that had only certain epistles or Gospels in the beginning? The whole Word of God was written, but up until a certain point not every church had them - did God's promise fail these early believers? What about the early versions that differ from one another? The translations of the earliest churches, which contain some of these variants (the Old Latin, Syriac, Coptic, etc.)? Did these promises that you assume of the preserved text fail to reach them? I'd like to affirm that in as much as God granted them the Scriptures, they were blessed in what they had, and in as much as he allowed the translations/Greek versions to be corrupted by various copyist errors, lost pages, etc. He did so for His own inscrutable purpose.

One of the biggest problems, in the passages that you cite to prove this theory, come from the citations in Isaiah. All of those promises you find in that prophet were written when an entire book of the Scriptures had already been lost! These were not rediscovered until the reign of Josiah (2 Kings 22:8ff.), approximately 70-120 years after these passages were written. God's promises still held true even when part of His revelation was temporarily missing.

Two books on this subject that I have found helpful are The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration by Bruce Metzger, and The Text of the New Testament by Kurt and Barbara Aland. If there are scholarly types here who have not read either of these works, you may find it helpful in considering why some hold to a critical text. On a more popular level, D. A. Carson has written The KJV Debate: A Plea for Realism, which discusses the TR, but addresses the English translation itself, more than its underlying text.

I am not fully decided on the issue myself, just so you know, and have had a certain preference for many of the Byzantine readings. I'd like to study this matter in greater detail in the future (when time permits, post seminary). I just happen to believe, with the evidence that is out there, that TR advocates just cannot support their theory as I have seen it set forth.
 

Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
I take it to be scholarship wed to piety. To those who believe in the separation of the two, it may look like propaganda. Biblical Christianity, however, teaches that one must believe first, and then speak. We should not be tying our colours to the mast of doubtful speculations -- which is what the adoption of the critical text requires of us.

Not to come off as rude, but since when do multiple thousands of manuscripts and ms. fragments staring us in the face constitute doubtful speculations? I do agree that there are speculations in certain decisions made by Metzger's committee in their Textual Commentary on the GNT, but these are flagged by them (or are obvious on a single reading), and therefore are easy to avoid. I think that there are real difficulties for positing that the TR is the divinely given "final Word", so to speak.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Not to come off as rude, but since when do multiple thousands of manuscripts and ms. fragments staring us in the face constitute doubtful speculations? I do agree that there are speculations in certain decisions made by Metzger's committee in their Textual Commentary on the GNT, but these are flagged by them (or are obvious on a single reading), and therefore are easy to avoid. I think that there are real difficulties for positing that the TR is the divinely given "final Word", so to speak.

Make them multiple millions of mss. if you please, my faith does not stand on the age or number of pieces of scrap paper, but on the abiding word of God. I will not buy into the liberal divorce between higher and lower criticism -- textual criticism is a question of canonicity. I do not count or date mss. to discover which books of the Bible are inspired; nor do I count or date mss. to discover which verses of the Bible are inspired. The basis upon which I accept the canonicity of 2 Peter is the same basis upon which I accept the canonicity of 1 John 5:7.

For what it's worth, I urge anyone interested in this question to make a study of Metzger's textual commentary. Therein the candid reader will discover that modern textual critics do not follow their own criteria for discovering the canonicity of readings. All of the rules he has established in the introdiction for determining a true reading are treated with gay abandon in the course of his discussion of particular passages.
 

Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
Make them multiple millions of mss. if you please, my faith does not stand on the age or number of pieces of scrap paper, but on the abiding word of God.

It was, however, upon those pieces of scrap paper that God's Word was copied by successive generations of the Church. Even the TR mss. came from those early copies.

Just curious, what is your view of the majority (uniformity ?) of Reformed seminaries who use the UBS/NA critical text as the basis for their student's studies? We are instructed in the basics of text criticism, and apply our studies to every passage (In other words,, not just taking the reading of the CT at its face value). This is a requirement in our exegetical papers. Would you consider our education to be flawed in this regard? Would you consider our professors to be in error in this regard? It may be that they are, I'm not saying this to be provocative, just looking for an "outsider's" thoughts on Reformed seminary education in the U.S.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
It was, however, upon those pieces of scrap paper that God's Word was copied by successive generations of the Church. Even the TR mss. came from those early copies.

The problem being, that the antiquity of the document becomes the object of veneration. One only has to observe the footnotes in modern Biblies to see that this is the case. Upon reading the history behind the acceptance of Sinaiticus, or Vatiicanus/Sinaiticus, it becomes clear that the age of the codices themselves are the important element in the eyes of those who advocate them.

In reality there are no TR mss. The TR is a belief that is established on the basis of testimony but lacks circumstantial evidence. I can live with the lack of evidence because my belief in the resurrection of Christ requires me to believe when I cannot see, and triumphs in believing and loving He whom I have never seen.

Again, the critical text is simply an idea. No one has seen it, but they believe in it nonetheless. One group of scholars lays claim to having discovered it, only for the thing to change shape and be rediscovered by a new set of scholars.

In the end, it is the belief itself which must be brought to the light of Scripture. We begin with the self-attestation of Scripture, and judge circumstantial evidence in the light of what the abiding Word of God says. The evidence cannot supplant the authority of Scripture. The evidence itself stands or falls in accord with its conformity or lack thereof to the truth of the Word.

Just curious, what is your view of the majority (uniformity ?) of Reformed seminaries who use the UBS/NA critical text as the basis for their student's studies? We are instructed in the basics of text criticism, and apply our studies to every passage (In other words,, not just taking the reading of the CT at its face value). This is a requirement in our exegetical papers. Would you consider our education to be flawed in this regard? Would you consider our professors to be in error in this regard? It may be that they are, I'm not saying this to be provocative, just looking for an "outsider's" thoughts on Reformed seminary education in the U.S.

I do not judge what I have no means of examining. Seminary education in Australia is conducted on the basis that the critical text is true. However, for all the broadness in the modern approach to teaching theology, it is passing strange that the student is never given an opportunity to hear that there is a difference of opinion on the subject of textual criticism. The critics have taken the helm and sentenced the conservatives to walk the plank. I suppose it is much like the creation/evolution debate in public schools. Alas! the tolerant can tolerate all but the intolerable.

The short answer, yes, any education which omits important facts is flawed. A "reformed" education which denies the reformed doctrine of Scripture is seriously flawed, in my humble opinion. I say that without passing any judgment on reformed seminaries in the States, which I have no means of evaluating first hand. Blessings!
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Adam,

You are right to say it is “a theological standpoint,” my exposition of Matthew 4:4, et al. And I do not mean to say that every “church would have all the Words of God at all times”. The view I take is that the great missionary movements after the Reformation which sent the Gospel into all the world had, by God’s providence, a text of Scripture that was an intact and trustworthy reproduction of the inspired Hebrew and Greek Testaments, as well as a remarkable English translation of them; it was this minutely preserved Bible that attended the Gospel outreach to the nations, both the English and the translations from the TR. For this great work – which included the restoration of Biblical doctrine in the Reformation – the Lord brought together those manuscripts and versions to completely fulfill His promises.

Are His promises fulfilled instantly at all times? Or do some of them find realization in stages, or in later times?

I quote from another post which touched on this subject [http://www.puritanboard.com/showpost.php?p=219226&postcount=39]:

As regards the issue of "If only the Greek Byzantine was the providentially preserved text, what about the other locations in the world that had a different texttype -- did they not have an adequate Bible?" I aver (again excerpting from an interaction with the writings of a text critic):

There is a preserving of the text, and then there is a preserving of the text—where its integrity is held even to minute readings not granted the former. That the former was nonetheless efficacious is analogous to the Bibles based upon the CT being efficacious to save and edify God’s people today, as witnessed by the multitudes regenerated through those who use the NIV and NASB. The minute preservation occurred in the primary edition (KJV/TR) which was to serve the English-speaking people and the translations created for the vast missionary work they undertook, which impacted the entire world. (It is accepted by many today that the English language is now the universal language—the second language of most other nations.) There was a progression in the purifying of the text, so as to almost (some would say completely) perfectly reconstitute the original manuscripts of the apostles, even as there has been, in the area of theology, a restoration of apostolic doctrine, which also went through phases of deterioration and eventual renewal.

Thus, even those areas of the church which were non-Greek-speaking also had a “preserved text”—as do multitudes in this present day—though their texts were not “minutely preserved.” The texts they had were efficacious unto the salvation of souls and the sustaining of the churches.

As regards the “minutely preserved” text, I observe the fait accompli of His work – Him who said, “I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9, 10) – I observe this Book produced in 1611, and I seek to understand in retrospect what He did and how He did it. I am aware you may scoff at what you may term my “unscientific and ignorant” approach, but what is that to me? I do not have faith in your “science” or in your “learning,” so your judgment of my approach is not relevant to me. You may term this (as I have heard it said) “invincible ignorance,” but if my approach to knowledge is approved by my Lord, I care not for your disapproval.

Many times the people of God have not understood how a prophecy was to be fulfilled until it was a done thing, and then they looked backward to see how He had worked. It is thus in observing how He fulfilled His promise to preserve His word.

I look at the completed act of His providential preservation, the manuscripts He brought into the possession of (despised-by-many) Erasmus, and those editors who came after him; I follow the transmission backwards, the nature of those texts – behold, in the main they are those of the Byzantine text-type, with some few readings from the Latin Vulgate – and I seek to discern and construct what Maurice Robinson and Wm. Pierpont posited in their Introduction to The New Testament in the Original Greek According to the Byzantine / Majority Textform,

A sound rational approach which accounts for all the phenomena and offers a reconstruction of the history of textual transmission is all that is demanded for any text-critical hypothesis. (p. xxxii)​

I am likewise aware that Messrs. Robinson and Pierpont will disown me as one of their illegitimate progeny, as they make clear on their page xli, but I want to make clear I refuse to be under bondage to “the tyranny of experts,” to use Machen’s memorable phrase. I do not need the knowledge of “experts” who proceed according to methodologies I do not subscribe to. I will consider their work (as much as I am able) and use it if I please.

---------

I bring these things up to indicate there is an adequate preservation as distinguished from preservation in the minutiae, and this will cast some light on the status of the Latin Vulgate, the Alexandrian texttype, etc.​

In the earlier portion of the post this above is excerpted from, there is a discussion (E.F. Hills’) on the different versions God gave to the various geographical areas.

Adam, you say (again, from post #15 above),

One of the biggest problems, in the passages that you cite to prove this theory, come from the citations in Isaiah. All of those promises you find in that prophet were written when an entire book of the Scriptures had already been lost! These were not rediscovered until the reign of Josiah (2 Kings 22:8ff.), approximately 70-120 years after these passages were written. God's promises still held true even when part of His revelation was temporarily missing.​

The passage I quoted from Isaiah (59:21) I believe was written before “the book of the law” (2 Kings 22:8) was “lost”, as Isaiah was gone from the scene by that time (around 641 B.C.). I am not sure what you are seeking to establish by your statement. Is it not that the book of the law (probably the Pentateuch, though some say only Deuteronomy) had been hidden?

Gill comments:

I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord; some think this was only the book of Deuteronomy, and some only some part of that; rather the whole Pentateuch, and that not a copy of it, but the very autograph of Moses, written with his own hand, as it seems from 2Ch 34:14. Some say he found it in the holy of holies, on the side of the ark; there it was put originally; but, indeed, had it been there, he might have found it before, and must have seen it, since, as high priest, he entered there once every year; more probably some pious predecessor of his had taken it from thence in a time of general corruption, as in the reign of Manasseh, and hid it in some private place, under a lay of stones, as Jarchi, in some hole in the wall, which upon search about repairs was found there: and Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it; and though there might be some copies of it in private hands, yet scarce; and perhaps Shaphan had never seen one, at least a perfect one, or however had never read it through, as now he did.​

If I lose my Bible, does this negate the promise of God? If in judgment He “sends a famine…of hearing the words of the LORD” (Amos 8:11), does this?

Regarding your referral to Bruce Metzger, please see this post (#33) from another thread: http://www.puritanboard.com/showpost.php?p=214595&postcount=33.

A brief mention is made concerning D.A. Carson in the post after the one above, near the end of the post (#34):

I would like to end with two brief quotes from an essay by Dr. Theodore P. Letis, in the book he edited and contributed to, The Majority Text: Essays And Reviews In The Continuing Debate. This is from the essay, “In Reply to D.A. Carson’s ‘The King James Version Debate’”.​

Letis begins his interaction with Carson on this note:

If D.A. Carson’s book illustrates nothing else it shows there are two schools of thought. Both schools interpret the data of NT textual criticism and modern translations differently, and both groups fill in the gaps in the data with assumptions which favor their given position. I hope some are beginning to see that this is not an argument between scholarship (the established school represented by Carson) and non-scholarship (the challenging school which has traditionally been treated as non-scholarly and completely uncritical). To the contrary, the best representatives of both schools display genuine scholarship. Why is it, then, that these two schools co-exist on this all-important issue of the very wording of the NT text? And is this a recent or a long-standing debate? It is these questions that we hope to broach—and answer—in this essay.​

Letis ends the essay thus:

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 [scientific] neutrality versus the dogma of [divine] providence…(pp. 201-204)​

The full body of this quote may be seen in the “What is the authentic New Testament text?” thread, post #31: http://www.puritanboard.com/showpost.php?p=199947&postcount=31.

Adam, you say you have a preference for some of the Byzantine readings; on what basis is your preference formed? You say that with much “hard work” and study one can optimistically find out the true NT text and the authentic readings. (I must say you are more optimistic than the text critics themselves!) Does this mean that you will be the final arbiter over what is God’s true word and what is not? Given so much disagreement among the CT and eclectic critics, how come you by this assurance?

Back to the beginning: it is indeed a theological position I derive from the promises of Scripture. Is not the Scripture meant to be the source of our doctrines? Yet it is nuanced, and what I have tried to do in this post is give some of the understanding which informs my views. There is a solid basis for believing the AV and its TR/1894 are sound.

Steve
 
Last edited:

Robert Truelove

Puritan Board Sophomore
These sorts of arguements in favor of the TR present both serious logical and theological fallacies.

IF, a strict TR position is required for one to believe in the preservation of the text, and apart from this view, one cannot have confidence in the Bible...then the first 1400 years of the New Covenant church did not have a Bible that was preserved or upon which they could rely.

Actually, I agree with Steve on these premises...

1) God is Sovereign

2) If these weren't the manuscripts He wanted them to use and He didn't guide their judgment...then....

a) God is not Sovereign and in control

b) and we do not have the actual Word of God.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Robert,

I did address precisely this objection in the post previous to yours (and the link supplied at the beginning of that post goes into even more detail).

Steve
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top