Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Article: "John Calvin and Text Criticism"

I got my hard copy of Puritan Reformed Journal, Vol. 9, No. 2 (July 2017) in the mail yesterday. This issue has my article “John Calvin and Text Criticism” on pp. 128-146 (posted to here). The editorial introduction to this edition of PRJ says the article “deals with the textual basis of Calvin’s preaching and commentaries, and demonstrates that while Calvin initially used the Greek text printed by Simon de Colines, he later came primarily to use the Textus Receptus as found in Erasmus’s Greek New Testament” (p. 1).

In the introduction (pp. 129-131) I cite James White’s rejection of the TR as the “Reformation text” with the claim that Calvin and the Reformers used the TR “by default, not particular choice.” The paper concludes by noting that White’s assessment is “grossly inaccurate: (p. 144). Calvin knew the Biblical languages, was very engaged in textual criticism, may well have examined individual Greek manuscripts and not just printed editions, and was fully aware of most of the major textual issues still discussed today [demonstrated by examination of his commentary on four passages: the doxology of the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:13b; the Pericope Adulterae (John 7:53—8:11); the “mystery of godliness” passage (1 Tim 3:16); and the Comma Johanneum (1 John 5:7b-8a)].

This article is an expansion of the short paper I gave at the Houston Baptist University theology conference in February 2016. I have previously posted the audio of that paper presentation (which can be heard here).


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