Saturday, July 25, 2015

Word Magazine # 40: Rejoinder to James White on Ecclesiastical Text.Part One

Last night I recorded WM # 40 which offers a rejoinder and analysis of this screen flow video from RB apologist James White:

As I note in my rejoinder, White recorded this video in response to a FaceBook dust-up with RB Pastor Robert Truelove. Truelove had, I think, charitably and perceptively raised some good questions about how and why Muslims have used James White's presentations advocating the modern critical Greek text of the NT to serve their own apologetic ends in denying the reliability and authority of the Christian Scriptures.  Here is a video that Truelove posted in response to James White:

Clearly, White is becoming more aware of a small but growing movement in some Reformed circles to rethink the adoption of the modern critical text and to take seriously the confessional articulation of the doctrine of the divine preservation of Scripture in chapter one of the WCF and the 2LBCF (1689).  This is leading to a revival of interest in the traditional or "ecclesiastical" text as represented in the Hebrew Masoretic Text of the OT and the Greek Textus Receptus of the NT.


1 comment:

Sam said...

It seems to me that the primary difference between the Traditional text view and the Critical text view is that the TR/MJ is a largely settled text, while the CT is not. This is plainly evidenced by the never-ending stream of NA/UBS editions published every few years. I would submit that Sola-scriptura is meaningless without a settled text, and if removing large portions of whole chapters can be justified in the CT position, then I do not see how one could object to removing whole books from the canon (as Ehrman does) if a strong enough case can be made for doing so.

James also presents a puerile view of textual development, as though the development of the primary textual traditions was a purely linear process, the Byzantine type rising naturally through the Alexandrian, rather than seeing the two traditions existing concurrently and in opposition to one another.

There also seems to be a double standard applied to the treatment of the Old and New Testament respectively. Much more space is given to the Old Testament for textual development without attempting to arrive at the very document that came from the pen of Moses. We can be reasonably sure that Moses did not record his own death at the end of Deuteronomy, but the book is nevertheless attributed to Moses without any contradiction. Strangely there is no move to excise the end of Deut. as there is with the ending of Mark. Rather than asking if the ending of Mark is Apostolic we should only seek to know whether it is canonical, that is, received by the Church in all ages and in all places. Its omission in two documents should not be enough to overturn 2000 years of Christian consensus; and if it is, what other texts or doctrines might be overturned with so little evidence?

-Sam Amos