Tuesday, February 20, 2024

WM 300: Article Review: T. David Gordon, The Case for the Eclectic Text & the OPC



1 comment:

R. L. Vaughn said...

Brother Riddle, this WM has elicited a number of thoughts. I will try to be as brief as possible.

First, congratulations on your 300th Word Magazine! Here are a few things that came to mind.

The article by T. David Gordon seemed a strange one. Perhaps I have not read Dabney carefully enough, but it seemed to me that he would lean closer to our position than to Gordon’s. The example of missionaries going to cultures not having a Bible seemed strained and out of touch. All Bible-believing missionaries I know go with and preach the Bible, and as soon as practicable try to get the word of God into the language. The argument about the written word and the eunuch of Ethiopia seemed a stab in the dark. More likely he had this because he was a Jew or Jewish proselyte who had just been up to Jerusalem to worship, rather than something to do with his professional duties.

Provenance of manuscripts is important. I think what you mentioned about heretics, as well another less egregious matter. In our day, because we understand “real” Bibles as printed text, no one would mistake some Bible verses I wrote down as “Bible.” However, manuscripts are by nature handwritten, and it is possible that some of these fragments they find were simply what someone copied down. Not necessarily worthless, but a fragment of a text a 2nd-century school child wrote down in a handwriting class would not have the same weight as text written out by a scribe. I am not saying that is what some of these fragments are – just without provenance can we know what they are?

Gordon’s interpretation of the Westminster Confession seemed to be founded on how it could be made to fit modern textual criticism rather the context of its times, creators, and purpose.

Keep up the good work. God bless.