Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Theological Schizophrenia



At the close of WM 98 I offered two conflicting quotes from the Preface and Acknowledgements to Craig A Carter’s Interpreting Scripture with the Great Tradition: Recovering the Genius of Premodern Exegesis (Baker, 2018), a book I have just begun to read.

First, in the Preface Carter says,

My hope is to overcome the Enlightenment by showing that the Enlightenment movement of “higher criticism” is a dead end, a sideshow, a deviation from orthodoxy, and a movement that is now in the late stages of self-destruction (xviii).

Then, in the Acknowledgements, Carter says,

All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version of the Bible, unless otherwise noted. I use, recommend, and thank God for the ESV Study Bible, which is a marvelous tool for anyone wanting to study God’s Word today (xx).

The contradiction: On one hand Carter (rightly) challenges the Enlightenment influenced modern historical-critical method. On the other hand, however, he chooses to make use of a translation that is the fruit of the Enlightenment deconstruction of the Biblical text (the ESV coming in a direct line from the English Revised Version of 1885, based on Wescott and Hort’s 1881 Greek NT). How is it that conservative and orthodox men can rightly critique the problems with modern theology in areas like the classical theism, but neglect to see those same problems in text criticism?

JTR

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