Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Another Challenge to James White on Calvin and Text Criticism

A couple of years ago I wrote an article titled "John Calvin and Text Criticism", which appeared in Puritan Reformed Journal Vol. 9, No. 2 (July 2017): 128-146. You can read the entire article here.

At the beginning of the article I challenged the notion, often put forward by evangelical advocates of the modern critical text, that "the foundational theologians and preachers of the Protestant Reformation era were largely unaware of many of the disputed textual passages in the Greek New Testament” (129).

I used as an example of this the claim made by the popular internet apologist James R. White in his King James Version-Only Controversy book that Calvin and the other Reformers embraced the traditional text of Scripture, as White puts it, “by default, not particular choice” (130). I also point out that White makes this assertion without providing any meaningful evidence to support it.

Here is the section of the article (pp. 129-131) where I engage with White’s position:

My article proceeds to demonstrate that White’s statement is not accurate with regard to Calvin.

White has shown some interest, of late, in some of my academic work relating to the Confessional Text of Scripture. I would look forward to seeing his response to the challenge offered in this article relating to Calvin’s understanding of the text of Scripture.

Update (11.20.19): I have been informed that Mr. White has declined my invitation to offer a scholarly response to my article. Instead he has asked that I listen to his internet podcasts to hear a response to these challenges. Someone has suggested that "Listen to my podcast!" sounds something like "Read my book!" Smiles. If anyone who is a regular listener to the DL can find the specific podcast(s) wherein he responded to my article and provided concrete evidence that Calvin and the other Reformers were ignorant of the major textual variants in the NT and, therefore, embraced the TR "by default, not particular choice" please send me a link and time stamp and I will be glad to listen.


1 comment:

Alma Allred said...

I just saw a FB post from James White that he is going to produce a "refutation" of your article. As a mostly disinterested observer, this means I'll have to read both articles to figure out what's happening.