Verses that prove providential preservation of TR tradition?

Discussion in 'Translations and Manuscripts' started by BayouHuguenot, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    KJV-only advocates tell me that God providentially preserved the TR manuscript tradition. What verses in the Bible speak about God's preserving a specific textual tradition?
     
  2. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    Good sir, it is not so much about 'preserving a specific textual tradition'. If trying to find the correct answer to what I think is your question, perhaps you might consider asking the following:

    If God has kept pure His Word in all ages (WCF 1.8), then 1) What does that mean, and 2) Do any of our textual manuscripts fit that (especially considering that one side believes their manuscripts/tradition is corrupted and must be put back together).

    As an aside, I'd encourage everyone to look deep at the history of how the Critical Text has come to be, who were the major players who put it together, and how might they affect the integrity of God's Word. [I obviously have my biases :) ].
     
  3. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Depends on what "pure" means. If it means a textual tradition where all readings have zero variants, then I don't think that is what "pure" means. If it means God has not left himself without a witness, then that can equally apply to other traditions.
    That is the genetic fallacy
     
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  4. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Sophomore

    Now, where did that popcorn GIF go...?
     
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  5. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    There are no notes in the minutes of the Westminster assembly about debate about "kept pure in all ages"; what works by Lightfoot or other members, particularly circa July 1644 where we know they were dicussing chapter 1, may shed light on this phrasing? Has Ussher's work on the Septuagint been translated and do they shed light on this?
     
  6. TheOldCourse

    TheOldCourse Puritan Board Sophomore

    No, it's not. The genetic fallacy is basing consideration of a thing entirely in its origins. One could say it's the postmodernist fallacy, on the other hand, to regard the original historical context of a matter as irrelevant.
     
  7. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Let's pretend for a moment that Westcott and Hort are bad people. Does that make their arguments false?
     
  8. TheOldCourse

    TheOldCourse Puritan Board Sophomore

    Of course not, but it does suggest that one should consider their views with higher degree of scrutiny and suspicion if their motives were atheistical. In the same manner naturalistic evolutionists are not wrong merely because they are atheistical, or those who seek to "demythologize" the Virgin Birth, etc., but given that no man is impartial, once the partiality of a man is determined his views ought to be scrutinized with that partiality in mind.
     
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  9. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Actually, not quite. The genetic fallacy is well defined by Wikipedia:

    The genetic fallacy (also known as the fallacy of origins or fallacy of virtue) is a fallacy of irrelevance where a conclusion is suggested based solely on someone's or something's history, origin, or source rather than its current meaning or context. This overlooks any difference to be found in the present situation, typically transferring the positive or negative esteem from the earlier context.​

    In this case, Andrew has indeed committed the genetic fallacy, because his particular conclusion is based entirely on origins rather than its current meaning or context. On the other hand, Jacob had NOT committed the postmodernist fallacy, because saying WH's conclusions are independent of their particular religious stance is not the same thing at all as saying that the original historical context is a matter of irrelevance.
     
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  10. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    If God has kept pure His Word in all ages (WCF 1.8), then 1) What does that mean, and 2) Do any of our textual manuscripts fit that (especially considering that one side believes their manuscripts/tradition is corrupted and must be put back together).
    Andrew, this is not what the Reformed people who hold to CT believe. I do not hold this, nor do most Reformed people I know who hold to the CT. The TR does not match ANY one particular manuscript. It is an eclectic text within the Byzantine tradition. What you hold with regard to only one narrow range of manuscripts, I hold with regard to the full range of manuscripts.
     
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  11. TheOldCourse

    TheOldCourse Puritan Board Sophomore

    I'm failing to see how my definition deviates from Wikipedia's other than being more succinct. See the bolded/underlined portion. It also is clear that Andrew did not commit it given that his first two paragraphs make no mention of the CT's origins, and indeed his citation of the origins is described even by himself as "an aside." To his principal question in his second paragraph, Westcott and Hort's background is irrelevant. If Andrew is guilty of the fallacy, it can only be because any consideration of the origins of a stance or idea is regarded as fallacious. That would be, as I term it, a postmodern fallacy.
     
  12. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Most postmodernists (Derrida, Lyotard, etc) are very keen on genealogical argumentation and tracing the roots. They are almost always wrong, but they know the root position.

    In fact, postmodernists begin with the origin of a position in order to trace the power-moves
     
  13. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Chris, there is every difference in the world between saying that consideration of something is based on its origins versus a conclusion about something is based on its origins. Therein lies the difference between your definition of the genetic fallacy and Wikipedia's. The correct definition is that a conclusion about something is based on its origins. This is exactly what Andrew did. He argues that because of how the CT came to be, its history, and who the players were, that it affects the integrity of God's Word, and nullifies the CT position. This is a textbook occurrence of the genetic fallacy.
     
  14. TheOldCourse

    TheOldCourse Puritan Board Sophomore

    Consideration yields conclusions, so I'm still not seeing a difference. It is the consideration of the origins that yields a conclusion based on those origins. If something is considered only with respect to its origins, then conclusions will be made only with respect to its origins. The former is the process, the latter is the result of that process. I have no problem with word wrangling, but as long as the only input in the consideration or conclusion is the origin of a thing, then they are functionally equivalent in the case of the fallacy.

    Anyways, I still don't see Andrew doing that. His argument was:

    Where is the genetic fallacy here? He only brings in the origins as an aside after this statement. It's clear that the origins statement is secondary, at best, to his implied conclusions.
     
  15. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Chris, as to Andrew's definition of the CT position (that the CT position is that the manuscript tradition is corrupted and must be put back together), I have already answered that part of his statement. Firstly, it is not what Reformed CT folk believe. We believe that God's Word is in the manuscripts. Put all the differences among the manuscripts together, and they don't amount to a hill of beans, even the differences between the TR and the CT. But this paragraph is not his argument as to why the CT position is wrong. It is only his description of the CT position, a description I noted as faulty with regard to Reformed versions of it. The paragraph you quoted is NOT his argument as to why the CT position is wrong. The paragraph that makes the argument is the other paragraph that mentions ONLY questions of origin as to why it is wrong. He says it is only an aside, but that is not really an aside. That is the substance of Andrew's argument as to why the CT position is wrong.

    Here is why Andrew committed the genetic fallacy: the only reasons he gives as to why the CT argument is wrong are reasons of historical origin of how the CT arguments came about. In other words, Andrew is not rejecting (so far) the CT arguments based on the merits of the arguments themselves. He (so far) only rejects them on the basis that their historical origin is suspect. That is the genetic fallacy. That the CT arguments might be taken in another sense by those of us who are Reformed, and might therefore lack the unbelieving baggage of Metzger, et al, doesn't ever seem to occur to TR defendants (and, by the way, is the main source of frustration in the controversy: Reformed folk who hold to the CT inevitably get tarred with Metzger's, and WH's brush, quite unfairly I might add). This is why Jacob has not fallen foul of your post-modern fallacy accusation: Jacob and I, and many others, who hold to the CT, do not hold it in the same way as Metzger does, or others like him, who accuse the TR tradition of being corrupted. There are nuances here in the CT positions that are getting left out, and confusion and suspicion are the typical result.
     
  16. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Puritan Board Junior

    Some popcorn brands are better than others. How do we find the best brand? Do we look at the label and assume it is the Received text that gives us the best brand? Or do we look more critically at the text on the label? :)
     
  17. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Sophomore

    [Upon reading this post by Stephen, Taylor begins all the more frantically searching through his GIF collection deep within the recesses of his hard drive, still to no avail.]
     
  18. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Let me say one more thing by way of warning (and I say this first to myself!): we need to be VERY careful of imputing motivations to other brothers on this subject. As I have seen the debates on CT and TR in the past on this site, tempers get out of hand rapidly and easily. All too easily, accusations of either sectarianism or attacking the integrity of God's Word get thrown around. The fact is that TR and CT (and MT, for that matter) folk have co-existed in the Reformed world for quite some time now. Both seek to make Bible-honoring arguments for their positions.
     
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  19. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    David Dickson says this in his comment on the WCF (which dates to within just a 2-3 years of the publication of the WCF).
    Question 12 "Hath not the Lord, by his singular providence and care, kept pure in all ages the Old Testament in Hebrew, and the New Testament in Greek?"

    Yes; Matt. 5.18.

    Well then, do not the Papists err, who maintain, The Old Testament in Hebrew, and the New Testament in Greek, which are the fountains, to be corrupted, and that their common Latin version is authentic?

    Yes.

    By what reasons are they confuted?

    1st, Because Christ says, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled, Matt. 5.18. 2nd, Because there can be no urgent necessity shown, why the fountains are corrupted. 3rd, If any such corruption had been in the Scripture, Christ, and his apostles, and the orthodox fathers had declared so much. 4th, Because they never have nor can make out any manifest corruptions in the fountains, albeit, most manifest and undeniable demonstrations are given of the corruptions of their Latin version, which they make authentic.​

    Instruct my ignorance. While clearly the context of this statement of preservation was originally to counter the Romanist claim. What level of corruption did they allege against the Hebrew and Greek texts, and what level of corruption is in the Latin version referenced? And specifically how does either compare to the variants between the majority text and the CT?
     
  20. TheOldCourse

    TheOldCourse Puritan Board Sophomore

    Lane, perhaps you are thinking of other posts Andrew has made on the matter, but I do not see your description of his argument in what he actually posted. There is a great deal of inference taken, which inference being, I admit, necessary, as his was a brief response and not a full argument, but which is not actually what he stated. Given that he didn't actually state conclusions (though his own opinion can certainly be inferred), I don't see how he can be charged with the genetic fallacy. Saying (in brief):

    1. The CT implies corruption of the Biblical text; Early CT scholarship was atheistical.

    Is not the same as:

    2. Early CT scholarship was atheistical, therefore the CT implies corruption of the Biblical text.

    Statement 2 is the genetic fallacy, 1 is merely two statements which may relate to each other in numerous different ways. You yourself imply, when you said you answered part of his statement, that there was more going on to his argument than merely the genetic fallacy. We both know that Andrew doesn't hold to his TR/ET position solely on the basis of his appraisal of Westcott and Hort's character and motives. Even if you believe that his other points are weak and that you have satisfactorily answered them, that he has other points is important.

    What you say is fair regarding impugning orthodox CT advocates with views of Metzger and WH. It's also fair to argue that a view has a seriously dangerous implication even if its advocates do not admit of that implication. When an Arminian argues that my position makes God unjust, it's an argument I need to take seriously even though I certainly do not admit of that conclusion. And likewise when we argue that he nullfies the sovereignty and aseity of God. Of course he wouldn't admit that--it's heresy--but it's a fair criticism that says that the logical outworkings of Arminianism is Socinianism. In charity, we should certainly recognize, however, that they do not actually believe the things that we believe their views imply.

    Also, for the sake of clarity, I never meant to imply that Jacob was guilty of what I termed a postmodern fallacy and certainly wasn't attempting to paint CT advocates with a broad brush there. I took Jacob as a bit rashly ascribing the genetic fallacy to Andrew, I believing that he knew full well that a mere consideration of origins is not fallacious. It would be foolish to believe that the origins of an idea or position have absolutely no value in determining its truthfulness. It is also foolish to believe that they are the only thing of value. Every good theological paper or report starts with a historical survey but doesn't stop there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  21. TheOldCourse

    TheOldCourse Puritan Board Sophomore

    Yes but they did so in a manner that divorced texts from their historicity and authorship and radically separated the past and the present. History for many postmodernists is illustrative for its phenomena, but not a meaningful field of empirical study. Foucault might be a representative example. The views of WH or Metzger would be irrelevant and even inaccessible to them.

    Regardless, it was just me coining a term off-hand. There's probably a better one for it. :)
     
  22. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    I'm trying to go over this as I'm reading it. I don't believe I was making a particular conclusion. I was suggesting keeping the history in mind as one decides the merits of a particular position. How Chris, above, summarized what I was saying is exactly how I'd put it. I was not at all suggesting a conclusion, though I have my own conclusion. Yet, it is not based solely or mostly on CT's history.


    This is a misrepresentation of my position. I do not believe that CT position is nullified because of how it came to be, i.e. its history, who the players were, etc. CT is nullified for various other reasons, but that (i.e. history) is not one of them.


    Now as to my 'aside', the OP is not about my aside at all. He's asking about the TR view essentially. "Where does God say He preserves a specific textual tradition?" Well, sorry Jacob, that's a ridiculous question on the face of it. We all know that He doesn't say 'This text tradition right here is the one, all others are of the devil.' :)

    That's why I tried to help him form the question better to get to what it seems he's looking for. After I type the following, I won't engage any further unless it has to do with Jacob's OP or at the least the questions I posed that I believe fit in line with what he's looking for. It would not be appropriate to continue talking about the corruption of the CT Text for instance, except on another thread. Jacob is looking for, it seems, what does the bible say (I add the Confession because I think it says what the Bible says) about text tradition.

    So here it is:

    As to the Reformed Textual position, that would be the Westminster Position.

    As to the CT position, you must at least acknowledge that non-reformed scholars believe the text is corrupted and must be thus put back together. A simple google search could find plenty of resources to show that (e.g. James White would be an example of a Reformed Baptist who holds that position, to my memory).

    But as to some reformed scholars from the pro-CT view on the subject, here's BB Warfield and Michael Kruger (both who I believe hold to a CT view, and are asserting the CT's corruption - you don't have to agree, but that's my view):

    "[Each manuscript copy] was made laboriously and erroneously from a previous one, perpetuating its errors, old and new, and introducing still newer ones of its own manufacture. A long line of ancestry gradually grows up behind each copy in such circumstances, and the race gradually but inevitably degenerates, until, after a thousand years or so, the number of fixed errors becomes considerable." - Warfield

    "But just because we believe in God's continuous care over the purity of His Word, we are able to look upon the labors of great critics of the nineteenth century - a Tregelles, a Tischendorf, a Westcott, a Hort - as well as those of a Gregory and a Basil and a Chrysostom, as instruments of Providence in preserving the Scriptures pure for the use of God's people. Dean Burgon and Mr Miller are able to reconcile with their appeal to Providence the early prevalence of a corrupt text which needed purifying in the fourth century: why cannot they reconcile with it a further purification of this same text in the nineteenth century?" - Warfield

    "Moreover, given the complexities of the textual history of some of the New Testaments writings (in particular, Acts), and the limited number of early papyri we possess, we should not be overly confident that our reconstructed critical text is equivalent to what was originally written. Such a cautionary approach has been exemplified by the Metzger-Ehrman volume which does not claim textual critics can recover the original text, per se, but rather the text 'regarded as most nearly conforming to the original'. Likewise, the present volume has attempted to strike a cautionary tone in its very title, The Early Text of the New Testament." - Kruger
     
  23. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Junior

    You might as well put that in your signature. ;)
     
  24. Andrew P.C.

    Andrew P.C. Puritan Board Junior

    Although one can talk about textual issues, variations, and other related issues, that is not the main issue with TR.

    The CT position claims to be rebuilding or reconstructing the “original”. This is the ideaological method they use. The TR position claims that the Word of God has been kept pure through all ages, in that there isn’t anything to reconstruct as we haven’t lost anything.

    These are what I have seen.
     
  25. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    LOL. I do say that a lot. True, but I do say it.
     
  26. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    And if we want to quote the bad guys from the CT camp, I can follow with Gail Riplinger and the Ruckmanites. Riplinger makes charismatics look like BB Warfie.d.
     
  27. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    Jacob,
    I think the "textual traditions" idea is the problem here--God's Word has been preserved pure in all ages. True, there are variant readings, etc., and that's why textual criticism is necessary. Textual criticism that agrees with the WCF's doctrine assumes the accuracy of the general tradition (not a particular "textual tradition" among others). Textual criticism that does not agree withe the WCF assumes that the text must be recovered. It's the difference of discerning the text vs. recovering or reconstructing the text.

    It's through the textual criticism that agrees with the WCF that the various editions of the Textus Receptus were arrived at.
     
  28. Andrew P.C.

    Andrew P.C. Puritan Board Junior


    Not sure where this attack comes from.

    I think this misses the main point for two reasons:

    1) KJV-onlyists are nuts because they don’t really argue from a knowledgeable standpoint. They also use the KJV as the basis of their point, instead of the TR.

    2) Warfield is a respectable theologian and has many great points on many topics. He also tows the line for CT. I’m not sure how you can compare KJVO and Warfield.

    With that, the underlining issue still hasn’t been addressed.
     
  29. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Junior

    Not always.
     
  30. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Riplinger believed in some of the wackier forms of "God told me." The comparison meant that she is super crazy. I wasn't saying Warfield believed x, y, or z.
     

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