Saturday, September 20, 2014

Word Magazine # 27: Rejoinder: James White and 2 Peter 3:10

Image:  Various editions of the NA lining someone's bookshelf (sadly, not mine!)

I recorded and posted yesterday Word Magazine # 27:  Rejoinder:  James White and 2 Peter 3:10.

This is now the third in a series interacting with apologist James White on the text of Scripture (see WM # 25 and WM # 26).  In particular, I respond to segments of two James White videos which address conjectural emendations in the modern critical text at Acts 16:12 and 2 Peter 3:10.  Since 2 Peter 3:10 is a much more complicated textual problem I focused on this verse.

Here are some aids for following the WM # 27:

1.  Here is my blog post:  Text Note:  2 Peter 3:10 in which I survey the textual issues with 2 Peter 3:10 noting the differences between the traditional text reading (will be burned up), the NA 27 reading (will be laid bare), and the NA 28 reading which introduces a conjectural emendation to the modern critical text (will not be laid bare).

2.  Here is WM # 25 where I made my original comments regarding conjectural emendations at Acts 16:12 and 2 Peter 3:10 in the modern critical text (begin listening at the 1:04:29 mark).

3.  Here is a link to James White’s August 25, 2014 screen flow video presentation titled, The CJ, Reformed Baptists, and Doing Apologetics in which he offers an initial response to the conjectural emendations at Acts 16:12 and 2 Peter 3:10 and misunderstands that the main issue with 2 Peter 3:10 has to do with the insertion of the negative particle ouch in the NA 28 text.

4.  Here is the comment that James White posted on the site (you can read the post and all comments here) in response to WM # 25 and the comment made by James Snapp which pointed out the mistakes James White made in understanding 2 Peter 3:10 and responding to my argument concerning it:

James White commented (references to conjectural emendations in bold):

Very, very, VERY disappointed here. I just listened to Riddle's comments, and, well, I had wished for fair treatment from a fellow Reformed Baptist pastor! Why not refer to a book I wrote on this topic that has been in print since 1995? Why refer only to my answers to quick questions from Todd Friel rather than the substance of my presentation itself? Why the repeated assertions that I am trying to "undermine" this or that (rather than honestly allowing my own clearly stated purposes to speak)? So many things to address! One that is a bit humorous, I suppose: Pastor Riddle makes the claim that the NA28 offers "conjectural emendations" that have no manuscript support as part of his criticism of my comments on the Comma Johanneum, a text that, if it is original, destroys all hope of an accurate NT manuscript tradition, I might add. Anyway, he says that I and others like me are being inconsistent to promote the NA28 for its cj's (as they were noted in the earlier apparati). Two problems: 1) the cj's are never put in the text, and hence are not translated by any translation; 2) these cj's, which appeared in earlier editions of the NA text, have been REMOVED from the NA28. They are gone from the apparatus. See, for example, the Bradshaw cj noted for "agra" in 2 Peter 3:10 in NA27, but gone in NA28.
James Snapp’s rejoinder comment:

Regarding the "humorous" item that you mentioned:
Jeff Riddle claimed that the NA28 has readings in its text that have zero extant Greek manuscript support. You reply here by saying:
"1) the cj's are never put in the text."
That is simply incorrect. Readings with no Greek manuscript support are adopted by NA28 in Acts 16:12 and in Second Peter 3:10.
You continue:
"They are gone from the apparatus. See, for example, the Bradshaw cj noted for "agra" in 2 Peter 3:10 in NA27, but gone in NA28."
That has nothing to do with what Jeff Riddle was talking about. The reading in Second Peter 3:10 that has no Greek manuscript support, but has been adopted in the text of NA28, is not Bradshaw's conjecture (that ERGA should be followed by "ARGA"). Riddle was referring, instead, to the variant-unit at the very end of the verse. The compilers of NA28 adopted "OUC EUREQHSETAI" ("shall not be found"), adding "OUC" without any Greek manuscript support.
The name of the person who made the humorous mistake about the NA28's adoption of a reading in Second Peter 3:10 that has no Greek manuscript support is not Jeff Riddle.

Here is another comment Snapp posted on the site in response to James White’s August 25 screenflow video (see comment here):

Regarding the 18th-20th minute of James White's response: White seems to have not gotten a secure grip on the issue regarding Second Peter 3:10. The focus of the controversy is not the conjecture "ARGA" (although that is what he seemed to think). The controversy involves the end of the verse: the 28th edition of the Nestle-Aland GNT adopts, in the text, the words "OUC EUREQHSETAI," (i.e., "shall not be found"), a reading which has zero support among Greek manuscripts. And, already in NA-27, the text of Acts 16:12 contained a reading which has zero support among Greek manuscripts.
Riddle's point was simple: if it is wrong to reject the Comma Johanneum on the grounds that its Greek support is relatively late and sparse, why is it right to accept the text in NA28 at Acts 16:12 and Second Peter 3:10, where the adopted reading has no Greek support at all? Whatever one thinks of the genuineness or non-genuineness of the CJ, Riddle's basic point is valid. White was in over his head, and it shows in his video.
And it does not salvage his case at all to divert viewers' attention to the Textus Receptus' reading in Revelation 16:5 (where the TR reading has no extant Greek support). Whether advocates of the Textus Receptus and/or KJV accept some conjectural emendations is not the question. The thing to see is that once one adopts any conjectural emendations in the New Testament text, one forfeits the right to use the "The Greek support for your favored reading is late and sparse" line as if it is absolutely decisive, because it if were /absolutely/ decisive, then the same principle would preclude the adoption of the NA28's readings in Acts 16:12 and at the end of Second Peter 3:10. Except it would carry even more force, inasmuch as the "late and sparse" Greek support for the CJ is still /something,/ whereas the Greek support for these two readings in the text of NA28 is non-existent.

5.  Finally, here is a link to James White’s August 28, 2014 Dividing Line titled Three Main Topics in which he revisits Acts 16:12 and, in particular, 2 Peter 3:10 after James Snapp pointed out the mistakes he made in interpreting the passage in his August 25 screenflow video (begin listening at the 49:32 and 1:07:42 marks).


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