WCF 1.8 and CT

Does WCF 1.8 require use of the Received Text

  • Yes

    Votes: 24 42.9%
  • No

    Votes: 24 42.9%
  • Hmm...I don't know

    Votes: 8 14.3%

  • Total voters
    56
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Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
For you Westminster people out there:

If a pastor uses a modern translation in church based on the critical text, do you think this means he should/ought/must claim to take exception to WCF 1.8 and the doctrine of preservation.

In other words, can you confess the WCF without exception and claim that such is God's scripture. I'm curious to see how many come down on each side.

Edit
I'm not asking for personal opinions on whether we should use the received text or not; I'm asking whether you think it is confessional.
 
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sastark

Puritan Board Graduate
The phrase "kept pure in all ages" in WCF 1.8 is in direct conflict with the principles of modern textual criticism.

I voted "Yes".
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
But the KJV onlies claim that the Septuagint is a gigantic conspiracy based on a forged letter, and it never really existed.
 

sastark

Puritan Board Graduate
But the KJV onlies claim that the Septuagint is a gigantic conspiracy based on a forged letter, and it never really existed.

(sorry if this was a sarcastic post and I misread it, but...)

The question was not one of KJV-only versus other translations, but which Greek text the translation is based on. Therefore, besides the KJV, the NKJV, the 1599 Geneva, etc would be acceptable translations of the Received Text.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
The phrase "kept pure in all ages" in WCF 1.8 is in direct conflict with the principles of modern textual criticism.

I voted "Yes".

But even our enemy Erasmus who compiled the TR had to chose from manuscripts with differing readings. So if "kept pure in all ages" means a continuing exact manuscript, where was it before, say, 1450 AD?
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
In my experience they don't take exception because of how they interpret the Confession of Faith at this point.

Those whom i've heard interpret the "purity" to be a relative purity, and not a perfect purity. And, quite frankly, i don't see a problem with that interpretation.

I do think that those who believe the ESV is correct in its rendering of the Lord's Prayer should take exception at the Larger Catechism Q#196.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
In my experience they don't take exception because of how they interpret the Confession of Faith at this point.

Those whom i've heard interpret the "purity" to be a relative purity, and not a perfect purity. And, quite frankly, i don't see a problem with that interpretation.

I do think that those who believe the ESV is correct in its rendering of the Lord's Prayer should take exception at the Larger Catechism Q#196.

I agree. I think if the Standards as whole are taken into consideration it requires allegience to the TR.

I was once labled 'naive' on this board for holding this view and was told that I didn't understand the Reformed view of the authority of Scripture. I read Ridderbos' "Redemptive History and the NT Scriptures" but am still unclear as to where the naivete of my position lies.

Perhaps Tim, or someone, can help me see the error of my ways.
 

Hippo

Puritan Board Junior
I doubt that the WCF considered this point in the way envisaged by modern supporters of the TR as logically the point at issue cannot really be considered until you have knowledge of the data concerning textual variants.

I personally think that wheeling out the confessions on this point is to misuse them.
 

ADKing

Puritan Board Junior
The point at issue is not textual criticism as such. The real issue is that WCF 1.8 very clearly contradicts the assumptions underlying Critical Text theory. I voted "yes".
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
Keep in mind, the intent of providential purity is not that there are no variants -- they perfectly acknowledge that there are variants with the received text.

However, acknowledging the variants within the apographs while still using the text as received is different from throwing it out and attempting to reconstruct a text based upon older manuscripts. Yes, Erasmus collated manuscripts: but in doing so, he was paying witness to the state of the text as he received it, acknowledging the variations. This is wholly different from reconstructing the text based upon ancient manuscripts.

-----Added 12/5/2008 at 03:31:38 EST-----

Another way of asking the opening question is: should Puritan Board members who use the ESV, or NASB, or NIV, or any other modern translation have an exception to 1.8 in their "about me" section.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
I agree. I think if the Standards as whole are taken into consideration it requires allegience to the TR.

I was once labled 'naive' on this board for holding this view and was told that I didn't understand the Reformed view of the authority of Scripture. I read Ridderbos' "Redemptive History and the NT Scriptures" but am still unclear as to where the naivete of my position lies.

Perhaps Tim, or someone, can help me see the error of my ways.
Why Tim? Tim is a small time contractor from Oceano California with a degree in agriculture.

Widen your perspective. The fact that several of our professional theologians aren't responding to these last KJV threads doesn't mean they don't have opinions. Fred Greco has held posts of very high responsibility in the PCA and I noted yesterday that he purposely noted that several verses he quoted to support his position came from the ESV.

Why don't you pick ten of the full time Elders who you profit from the most, and who are members of churches that have the WCF in their standards. Click on their profiles, then on the place that allows you to see all the posts that they've made. Scroll through them and see how many only quote from the KJV when making points. Then ask yourself if those people have never considered whether they are in violation of their ordination vows by not taking an exception to WCF 1.8.

As for me, my take is that it is clearly a matter of faith, and not reason to believe that the TR somehow is God's exact word over and above any other compliation of texts.

All reasonable people who have looked into the matter know that Christ quoted both from the Hebrew and Septuagint. That settles the matter. Christ quoted from two different compliation of texts that differ much more than the TR does from the W&C compilation.

The KJV onlies know that if Christ quoted from both, they don't have a leg to stand on, and invent a silly mythology that states the Septuagint never existed. And you can't argue with them anymore than you can argue with 9/11 truthers or Obama wasn't born in the USers. They start from a position of elevating all data to the same level of quality, so they can come to any conclusion that they want.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
As for me, my take is that it is clearly a matter of faith, and not reason to believe that the TR somehow is God's exact word over and above any other compliation of texts.

Absolutely. And that's the question I am asking: is it a part of the faith confessed in the WCF? I'm not even asking if it is true or not. I'm asking if it's a part of the faith found in the confession.

(Also, not whether it is his exact word. All acknowledge variants within the received text. That's not the question at hand.)
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
I agree. I think if the Standards as whole are taken into consideration it requires allegience to the TR.

I was once labled 'naive' on this board for holding this view and was told that I didn't understand the Reformed view of the authority of Scripture. I read Ridderbos' "Redemptive History and the NT Scriptures" but am still unclear as to where the naivete of my position lies.

Perhaps Tim, or someone, can help me see the error of my ways.
Why Tim? Tim is a small time contractor from Oceano California with a degree in agriculture.

Widen your perspective. The fact that several of our professional theologians aren't responding to these last KJV threads doesn't mean they don't have opinions. Fred Greco has held posts of very high responsibility in the PCA and I noted yesterday that he purposely noted that several verses he quoted to support his position came from the ESV.

Why don't you pick ten of the full time Elders who you profit from the most, and who are members of churches that have the WCF in their standards. Click on their profiles, then on the place that allows you to see all the posts that they've made. Scroll through them and see how many only quote from the KJV when making points. Then ask yourself if those people have never considered whether they are in violation of their ordination vows by not taking an exception to WCF 1.8.

As for me, my take is that it is clearly a matter of faith, and not reason to believe that the TR somehow is God's exact word over and above any other compliation of texts.

All reasonable people who have looked into the matter know that Christ quoted both from the Hebrew and Septuagint. That settles the matter. Christ quoted from two different compliation of texts that differ much more than the TR does from the W&C compilation.

The KJV onlies know that if Christ quoted from both, they don't have a leg to stand on, and invent a silly mythology that states the Septuagint never existed. And you can't argue with them anymore than you can argue with 9/11 truthers or Obama wasn't born in the USers. They start from a position of elevating all data to the same level of quality, so they can come to any conclusion that they want.

I meant no offence, Tim. I only singled you out because you were the first in the thread to reply in the negative. I always appreciate your informed input in these KJV threads.

I will take you up on your advice.
 

sastark

Puritan Board Graduate
As for me, my take is that it is clearly a matter of faith, and not reason to believe that the TR somehow is God's exact word over and above any other compliation of texts.

Let me ask this: Do you know what Christ actually said, word for word, letter for letter, in, say, Matthew 6:13? Is it even possible to know, with certainty anything that Christ or the Apostles ever said or wrote? The assumption behind the Critical Text is that we have to "reconstruct" the true text because of errors introduced through copying. The older the manuscript, the more likely it is correct. However, since we lack the autographa, can we ever, really be sure that we have the correct text? I mean, if 2 copies of the Gospel of Matthew from the 1st century were found tomorrow and they omitted, I don't know, the last 16 verses of Matthew, according to the precepts of textual criticism, we would have to say that for the last 2000 or so years, the church has been in error by including those verses in the Bible.

So, if you aren't prepared to say that the TR is the exact word of God, are you prepared to say that ANY text or group of texts we have today is the exact word of God? Or do we even have the exact word of God? Is it even possible to have the exact word of God? If we lack the autographa, according to modern textual criticism, who is to say that errors were not introduced in the very first copies of the Gospels and Epistles? And since the autographa are lost (barring a miracle), how can we ever really know what was really written?

The only way we can have any assurance that we know the words spoken by Christ and written by the Apostles is if we believe in the divine preservation of the text. And that idea is at odds with the foundational principles of modern textual criticism.


All reasonable people who have looked into the matter know that Christ quoted both from the Hebrew and Septuagint. That settles the matter. Christ quoted from two different compliation of texts that differ much more than the TR does from the W&C compilation.

Christ quoted from the original Hebrew and a translation of the Hebrew. How does that settle the issue? Christ's quotation of a translation is not an affirmation of the correctness of that translation. If anything, it assures us that we have the right to translate from the original languages to our own.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Christ quoted from the original Hebrew and a translation of the Hebrew. How does that settle the issue? Christ's quotation of a translation is not an affirmation of the correctness of that translation. If anything, it assures us that we have the right to translate from the original languages to our own.

The much bigger issue is what you do with the text like Hebrews 10:%, which clearly follows the LXX text instead of the Hebrew text.
 

Grymir

Puritan Board Graduate
All reasonable people who have looked into the matter know that Christ quoted both from the Hebrew and Septuagint. That settles the matter. Christ quoted from two different compliation of texts that differ much more than the TR does from the W&C compilation.

The KJV onlies know that if Christ quoted from both, they don't have a leg to stand on, and invent a silly mythology that states the Septuagint never existed. And you can't argue with them anymore than you can argue with 9/11 truthers or Obama wasn't born in the USers. They start from a position of elevating all data to the same level of quality, so they can come to any conclusion that they want.


Hardly. You constantly mis-represent the KJV position by citing Gail Riplinger and the other weirdo's views. That isn't even close to the real reason we use the KJV. The Septuagint is real. Deal with it. And quite mis-representing and slandering us KJV people. Please. - Grymir
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
However, since we lack the autographa, can we ever, really be sure that we have the correct text?

It all comes down to believing that our enemy Erasmus was somehow directly inspired by God when he chose which readings of different, non identical texts to include in the TR.

I'll try to answer your questions, but first I need you to tell me exactly where

So, if you aren't prepared to say that the TR is the exact word of God, are you prepared to say that ANY text or group of texts we have today is the exact word of God?

this exact Word of God was in AD1450.

For me, it's not a problem because I can hold that God could have preserved His Word even if I don't know exactly which of two differently pronounced place names are the correct, or even if I don't know if Tobit is profitable for preaching and instruction (but not doctrine) or the specific details about who stirred the waters at a pool.

I guarantee you that if you set a standard of 66 Books exactly as written in the TR for all church history the moment you start studying the issue in-depth, you're setting yourself up for a big disappointment, and possibly a crises of faith.

-----Added 12/5/2008 at 05:40:05 EST-----

Hardly. You constantly mis-represent the KJV position by citing Gail Riplinger and the other weirdo's views. That isn't even close to the real reason we use the KJV. The Septuagint is real. Deal with it. And quite mis-representing and slandering us KJV people. Please. - Grymir

Nice try, but I've spent hours debating the issue right here, with people who still hold to that position. People who have posted here on this very subject within the last few days.
 

sastark

Puritan Board Graduate
Christ quoted from the original Hebrew and a translation of the Hebrew. How does that settle the issue? Christ's quotation of a translation is not an affirmation of the correctness of that translation. If anything, it assures us that we have the right to translate from the original languages to our own.

The much bigger issue is what you do with the text like Hebrews 10:%, which clearly follows the LXX text instead of the Hebrew text.

(I'm assuming you meant Hebrews 10:5, since the '%' is above the '5' on the keyboard.)

Again, I fail to see how quoting from a translation is a problem. That is what the author of Hebrews is doing in this passage.

Am I missing your point (honestly asking)?

-----Added 12/5/2008 at 05:54:08 EST-----

However, since we lack the autographa, can we ever, really be sure that we have the correct text?

It all comes down to believing that our enemy Erasmus was somehow directly inspired by God when he chose which readings of different, non identical texts to include in the TR.

I'm sorry, but no, it does not come down to a question concerning Erasmus (or Beza for that matter). It comes down to the question of: Can we know with certainty the exact words written by the original authors of the New Testament. Modern Textual Criticism says 'No'. The WCF says 'Yes'. In reference to the original post, if a pastor or elder holds to the principles of modern textual criticism, he ought to state as much, as that belief is an exception to the standards.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Christ quoted from the original Hebrew and a translation of the Hebrew. How does that settle the issue? Christ's quotation of a translation is not an affirmation of the correctness of that translation. If anything, it assures us that we have the right to translate from the original languages to our own.

The much bigger issue is what you do with the text like Hebrews 10:%, which clearly follows the LXX text instead of the Hebrew text.

(I'm assuming you meant Hebrews 10:5, since the '%' is above the '5' on the keyboard.)

Again, I fail to see how quoting from a translation is a problem. That is what the author of Hebrews is doing in this passage.

Am I missing your point (honestly asking)?

I think you are. (Sorry about the "%" )

This is not a matter of translation. The text is actually very different. The LXX is different in substance (not translation) than the Hebrew. Compare Ps. 40:6 in Hebrew (and various English translations following the Masoric text)
ESV Psalm 40:6 In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.

WTT Psalm 40:7 [FONT=&quot]זֶבַח וּמִנְחָה לֹֽא־חָפַצְתָּ אָזְנַיִם כָּרִיתָ לִּ֑י עוֹלָה וַחֲטָאָה לֹא שָׁאָֽלְתָּ׃ [/FONT]​
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT]
(my ears you have dug)


NAU Psalm 40:6 Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired; My ears You have opened; Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.

KJG Psalm 40:6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
With the LXX and a translation of it:
BGT Psalm 39:7θυσίαν καὶ προσφορὰν οὐκ ἠθέλησας ὠτία δὲ κατηρτίσω μοι ὁλοκαύτωμα καὶ περὶ ἁμαρτίας οὐκ ᾔτησας

LXE Psalm 40:6 Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not; but a body hast thou prepared me: whole-burnt-offering and sacrifice for sin thou didst not require.
Now look at Hebrews 10:5, which is quoting Psalm 40, in the Greek and English:
ESV Hebrews 10:5 ¶ Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, "Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me;

NAU Hebrews 10:5 ¶ Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, "SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME;

BGT Hebrews 10:5[FONT=&quot] ¶[/FONT] Διὸ εἰσερχόμενος εἰς τὸν κόσμον λέγει· θυσίαν καὶ προσφορὰν οὐκ ἠθέλησας, σῶμα δὲ κατηρτίσω μοι·
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
It comes down to the question of: Can we know with certainty the exact words written by the original authors of the New Testament. Modern Textual Criticism says 'No'. The WCF says 'Yes'.

Keep in mind that the reformers and our old divines certainly allowed that there are non-essential variants within the text. It's not quite about knowing every single word with certainty. The difference is methodology. Do we start with the text as we have received it handed down (indeed, admitting the variants therein), or do we reject this text and attempt to reconstruct one.

-----Added 12/5/2008 at 06:29:21 EST-----

But, returning to the opening post if we may: the question is a very practical one -- do those who use a translation based upon the critical text need to claim exception to 1.8 based upon authorial intent.

I'm leaning to yes. I'm still interested in more answers.

-----Added 12/5/2008 at 06:47:53 EST-----

I would also add that I don't ask this question because of the differences between the texts themselves: so much ink has been spilled over so little and insignificant difference. I am asking about the theological presuppositions involved, and whether those are a part of the confession.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
The key word of WCF 1:8 is "authentical." This 17th century council claims that the church possesses the "authentic text" of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures through the singular providence of God preserving it pure in all ages. Given this claim, we are left with one of two choices: either the text they used is the "authentic text" or their claim was false. I don't think the acceptance of their claim necessarily binds one to a strict TR-only position. The writings of the Westminster men show an openness to other readings where they shed light on the meaning of God's Word and do not prejudice the faith once delivered. But at the very least, the claim of the WCF does require an acceptance of the reformation text as the authoritative court of appeal.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
The key word of WCF 1:8 is "authentical." This 17th century council claims that the church possesses the "authentic text" of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures through the singular providence of God preserving it pure in all ages. Given this claim, we are left with one of two choices: either the text they used is the "authentic text" or their claim was false. I don't think the acceptance of their claim necessarily binds one to a strict TR-only position. The writings of the Westminster men show an openness to other readings where they shed light on the meaning of God's Word and do not prejudice the faith once delivered. But at the very least, the claim of the WCF does require an acceptance of the reformation text as the authoritative court of appeal.

Can you specify a bit please?

Do you just mean that, confessionally, alternative readings from outside the received text can be used to help explain and open a passage in the "authentic text," but are not authoritative? I think this is the drift of your post, but I'm not sure.

Thus, when a pastor reads scripture before the church, can he (keeping with the confession) read the non-received text reading as scripture?
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
On the LXX reading of Ps. 40:6, allegedly quoted in Heb. 10:5, it is somewhat noteworthy that the 17th century John Owen and the 21st century Commentary on the NT use of the OT by Beale and Carson happen to agree as to the scribal correction of certain Greek texts which force the mss. of Ps. 40:5 to conform to the apostle's citation.

-----Added 12/5/2008 at 07:06:07 EST-----

Do you just mean that, confessionally, alternative readings from outside the received text can be used to help explain and open a passage in the "authentic text," but are not authoritative? I think this is the drift of your post, but I'm not sure.

Yes, that is the point I was making.

Thus, when a pastor reads scripture before the church, can he (keeping with the confession) read the non-received text reading as scripture?

No, that would change the constitutional document; but he might find that a variant reading sheds a little light on the constitutional document, and therefore give an explanation of it in terms of the variant. Not all changes are corruptions as to the meaning of the text. One can imagine a later Greek scribe notating the text so as to explain it in terms of his time and culture.
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
For the immature among us (primarily me) can you point us to any books/articles to read more on this subject Rev. Winzer?

(btw my TFU question from above was more focused on this subject)...
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
This is a very interesting question.

For the TFU guys is there anything comparable to WCF 1.8 in the TFU?

If this doctrine is not plainly taught there, then all the critical text people can adopt the TFU and the received text people can adopt the WCF and since we can't look down on either of these confessions--problem solved permanently.

There, we just singlehandedly solved a great controversy!

Really though, while I'm sure most continentals would certainly have affirmed WCF 1.8, I don't think its parallel is in the Belgic, unless I've missed something implicit therein.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Thus, when a pastor reads scripture before the church, can he (keeping with the confession) read the non-received text reading as scripture?

No, that would change the constitutional document

That is a very, very narrow interpretation of WCF 1.8

The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical

There was no TR before Erasmus put it together, and the WCF language interprets itself by saying the Word was kept pure in all ages. So in, say, 1450 to subscribe to WCF 1.8 one would have to say the TR was in existence, if one were to interpret the Confession the way you do.

It's much more natural, logical and sensible to interpret WCF 1.8 in a much broader sense.

do those who use a translation based upon the critical text need to claim exception to 1.8 based upon authorial intent.

I'm leaning to yes. I'm still interested in more answers.
Do you have any idea at all of what you are accusing the majority of Elders both here and in our denomination of doing?
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
On the LXX reading of Ps. 40:6, allegedly quoted in Heb. 10:5, it is somewhat noteworthy that the 17th century John Owen and the 21st century Commentary on the NT use of the OT by Beale and Carson happen to agree as to the scribal correction of certain Greek texts which force the mss. of Ps. 40:5 to conform to the apostle's citation.


Matthew,

I don't follow you here. I see that there is a slight difference between the LXX of Ps. 40:6 and the Greek of Hebrews 10:5, and I can certainly see that a correction of the LXX manuscripts would make that more conforming. In any event, even the slight difference as it stands does not really bother me - I think it does not cast doubt on authenticity.

My point was that the Hebrews citation is clearly different from the Hebrew. Can you clarify?
 
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