Tuesday, July 12, 2022

WM 243: Responding to Another Comment by Mark Ward


Responding to another comment by Mark Ward, regarding WM 241:

Dr. Riddle, I appreciate the time you took to offer some answers. We do come from such different perspectives that I do not believe we are ever going to come to agreement. I also will not demand that you engage further, though I am willing and hoping for this to occur.

I do simply wish to request clarity on one thing before proceeding in this discussion. CB proponents do always, in my long experience, claim that there is a perfectly pure, preserved text of the New Testament—and yet they just as commonly (in my long experience!) do not speak clearly when they are asked the very natural and honest follow-up questions, 1) "Which TR is the perfect one?" and 2) "Why that one instead of a different TR?"

Do I take it that you are now answering that first question with clarity? Are you saying indeed that Scrivener's TR is the perfect TR? And am I correct in interpreting you to mean that a) every jot and tittle God inspired in the autographs is present in Scrivener's TR, b) none is missing or added, and c) all are in the right order? This is all I can take "perfect" preservation to mean. My New Oxford American Dictionary defines perfect as "free from any flaw or defect in condition or quality; faultless"; it also gives "precisely accurate; exact." Is that what "perfect" means to you?

I simply cannot see how these could be considered "gotcha" questions. I truly do not understand your view even after long listening, and I wish to represent you accurately. Do I? Have I stated your view as you would state it?

Dr. Ward, I agree with R. L. Vaughan that your repeated asking of the so-called “Which TR?” question is hard to take as genuine but appears to be a “stratagem of debate.”

In fact, you yourself clearly answered the question in your 2020 article when you wrote that Scrivener’s TR is “used today by basically all who prefer the TR” (53), adding, “The edition that is universally used is that provided by the Trinitarian Bible Society” (53, n. 9).

I have clearly stated that my views are in line with the TBS’s statement on the doctrine of Holy Scripture, that, in the NT, I make practical use of Scrivener’s TR, that any individual passages where there are questions about Scrivener’s TR should be examined on a case-by-case basis, and I have even provided some principles for how such cases might be addressed.

I’d suggest that rather than trying to restate my view in your own words that you just use my words themselves to define my position.

I am sorry if you do not think this response is adequate, or that it is inconsistent with my belief that the Bible has been “kept pure in all ages.”

Now, since I have answered your questions, would you please answer a few of mine?

1.     Would you respond to the three problems I raised in WM 240 regarding your conflation of CB with KJVO? Given these problems, do you still think that CB can reasonably and fairly be categorized as a variety of KJVO?

2.     Do you believe that God’s Word is perfect and that it has been “kept pure in all ages”?

3.     Which modern critical text do you believe is the Word of God (or the best approximation of it)?

4.     Do you agree or disagree with Daniel Wallace’s recent statement: “We do not now have—in our critical Greek texts or any translations—exactly what the authors of the New Testament wrote. Even if we did, we would not know it” (Myths and Mistakes, xii).

5.     Do you agree with James White that any verse in the Bible could possibly be changed based on new manuscript discoveries?

6.     With reference to your preferred modern critical text of the NT, what percentage of the that edition do you believe is accurate and what percentage is questionable? Can you give specific examples of each?

7.     Do you believe that Mark 16:9-20 is a spurious and uninspired corruption and should be removed from the Bible?

8.     Do you believe that John 7:53—8:11 is also a spurious and uninspired corruption that should be removed from the Bible?

9.     Do you believe that the modern text/translation rendering of John 1:18 is theologically accurate?

10.  Do you accept the reading of 2 Peter 3:10 in the NA28 edition?

I look forward to your responses to these important questions.

Regards, JTR


Mark Ward said...

Dr. Riddle, I had two long talks with Dane Jöhannson this week (phone and text), and I got private messages from Dwayne Green and Robert Vaughan. I also talked to Tim Berg. All kindly and clearly said the same thing: I should stop calling Confessional Bibliology "KJV-Onlyism." I have prayerfully considered their appeals and yours, and I have decided to stop using that label for both you and for those mainstream IFB KJV/TR defenders, such as Joe Shakour, who also find that label off-putting or inaccurate. I will publicly make this change in my upcoming Detroit lecture. It's too late for me to change the DBTS announcement page, but I'll mention this matter in the video-taped lectures, which will later go on my YouTube channel.

I'd only ask that you remember and believe what I have said: that I've never thought you were Ruckmanites, and that "KJV-Only" doesn't mean that to me—because I grew up proudly KJV-Only but also self-consciously *not* Ruckmanite. It took me a good while to understand that a label I once loved apparently means something different to you—and perhaps to the outside world? To them, especially, I don't want to send forth the wrong message. If they hear Ruckman and double inspiration when they hear "KJV-Only," that is clearly inaccurate (for you as well as for someone like Joe Shakour).

Tim Berg has worked hard to create a model—and set of labels—that accurately and fairly describe the major positions on the KJV/TR. We in the Textual Confidence Collective are coming out with that model and those labels on Monday. I can't promise to use only labels you like; labeling one's opponent is part of debate. But you've convinced me that this label, when applied to you, confuses and misleads enough hearers that it is unhelpful.

Anonymous said...

Look at psalm 8-5 what does the Hebrew say... also job 26-5 in the KJV, then read it in the NASB

Jeffrey T. Riddle said...

Mark, sorry for my delay in responding. I was busy with family and church duties over the weekend.

I do appreciate your expressed commitment to cease conflating the CB position with KJVO. As I have stated, I do not believe it is either reasonable or just to do so. Thank you for your willingness to listen to the counsel of others and to change your practice.

Blessings, JTR