Should the late Dr. Bruce M. Metzger Be Applauded or Anathematized?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by TCGreek, Aug 11, 2007.

  1. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    Point of Clarification: I'm not one to judge the destiny of the deceased. That's God's stuff. So this is not about Dr. Metzger destiny.

    1. In another thread, I mentioned Dr. Metzger among some other noted evangelicals, and I was swiftly correct for including his name. Here's the quote of correction:

    2. In spite of the above quote, should Dr. Metzger be applauded for his work in Textual Criticism and the NT world and other related works?

    3. Dr. John Piper's tribute to the late Dr. Bruce Metzger:

    You can read the full tribute @ http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/439_personal_tribute_to_bruce_manning_metzger/

    4. Was Dr. Piper, a Reformed Baptist pastor, right in paying this tribute?
     
  2. EdSutton

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    How about "left to 'rest in peace'"?

    Is that a permissible option on the BB for one who is deceased? :confused:

    Ed
     
  3. TCGreek

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    And your contribution is...?
     
  4. EdSutton

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    No particular contribution, per se. Just giving another possible option to the thread title.

    However, were I to offer a 'contribution', I would suggest that your own prior 'rebuke' by another was undeserved, at the least.

    One can certainly be considered an evangelical and even a 'fundamentalist', who does not hesitate to use textual criticism, to determine the best available text(s), as did the late Dr. Metzger. Last time I checked, neither was dependant on any "onlyism".

    I'm also not sure as to your own detractor's comments, as to whether or not the late Dr. Metzger believed in 'inerrancy', or if that is a red herring, as well.

    BTW, I have not read the 'tributes' of Dr. Metzger by John Piper, so am not 'biased' in that respect, at all.

    Ed
     
    #4 EdSutton, Aug 12, 2007
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  5. John of Japan

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    Well, good luck on this one, TC! I predict a lot of bile.

    I have mixed feelings on Metzger. On the one hand, I found a quote in one of his books that says to me that he probably doesn't believe in Biblical inerrancy. (Don't ask me what the quote says right now--it's late here.) Also, I disagree with his textual criticism methodology, and therefore the product of his textual criticism.

    Having said that, in many ways he was a giant of a scholar! His textual commentary is an unmatched tool, and I've used and consulted the other booksI have by him over and over. (I may have just invited some bile in my own direction.)

    Concerning the charge that he "accepted and used the higher criticism," I really wonder where that came from. I have not found higher criticism in any of his books. Probably the one who brought this charge (whoever it was) is mixing up higher criticism and lower criticism. Metzger definitely accepted and used lower criticism, since that is just another word for textual criticism. And Erasmus, Stephanus, the translators of the KJV and virtually all Bible translators at one time or another have used lower criticism. So what's the big deal? :type:
     
    #5 John of Japan, Aug 12, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2007
  6. Maestroh

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    Dr Metzger

    Dr Bruce Metzger was a firm and unapologetic believer in the bodily Resurrection of the God-Man, Jesus Christ. It is true as a number of folks here have noted that he did not hold to inerrancy.

    But have any of you at least stopped to ask, "Why?"

    Dr Metzger did hold to infallibility. He did hold that Jesus Christ was God in human flesh who died upon the cross and salvation is by grace alone through faith alone because of the finished work of Christ alone.

    Those like David Cloud who have felt free to judge the man's eternal destiny solely on the basis he was not a fundamentalist just might be in for a big surprise someday. Some might find Metzger welcomed into the kingdom while they are shut out.
     
  7. TCGreek

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    1. I have benefited greatly from Metzger works.

    2. His A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament is a must for every serious student of NT Greek.

    3. Yes, everyone who is involved in serious translation from the biblical language cannot avoid lower criticism.

    4. Well, I decided to do some research on Metzger's higher criticism charge. I didn't come up with any, but this is what I came up with for a start from Lee Strobel's famous The Case for Christ:

    Lee Strobel: "How many doctrines of the church are in jeopardy because of variants?"

    Metzger: "I don't know of any doctrine that is in jeopardy." (p.65).

    Lee Strobel: "So scholarship has not diluted our faith."

    Metzger: "On the contrary, it has built it. I've asked questions all my life, I've dug into the text, I've studied this thoroughly, and today i know with confidence that my trust in Jesus has been well placed." (p.71).

    5. Now, that does not sound like the words of a higher critic to me.
     
  8. John of Japan

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    It's because he allowed his research to overcome his Biblical presuppositions. His career brought him closer and closer to theological liberalism, ending up at the notorious Princeton.
    And unfortunately, this use of the word "infallibility" to mean something different from "inerrancy" marked the struggle in the SBC in the 1970's, so that conservatives had to parse every little phrase during the struggle. It's a smokescreen.
     
  9. Martin

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    ==Yes. While I may have points of disagreement with Metzger he did contributed a great deal to New Testament Studies. I would say the same thing about NT Wright and Ben Witherington. I may not agree with them always but their contributions to New Testament study are great. I would not, however, want any of those men as my pastor.
     
  10. Rippon

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    JoJ , you said : "His career brought him closer and closer to theological liberalism , ending up at the notorious Princeton."

    Dr. Metzger was born in 1914 . He went to Princeton University in the late 30's . He earned his Ph.D at the Seminary in 1942 . He became an Assistant Professor in 1944 and moved along the latter there . I don't know how you could say he "ended up at the notorious Princeton ." He started there in his 20's and remained there until he was 70 as a full-time Professor . His life didn't eventuate at Princeton -- it germinated there .

    A great many conservative scholars/preachers sat under his teaching . There is usually a remnant of godly biblical scholars even at Princeton and Fuller for instance . I do not blame those students who wanted to be taught by him -- even at "notorious Princeton."

    BTW , he taught more students than any other Professor in the whole of Princeton's history . And his 62 year old marriage was remarkable for its longevity .

    I respect him very highly . He helped the poor layman as well as the scholars among us . Men of his stamp are rare these days . God bless his memory .
     
  11. John of Japan

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    Okay, thanks for the correction. Me? I certainly wouldn't have stayed at Princeton. But then I probably wouldn't have gotten there in the first place! :p
     
  12. TCGreek

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    Dr. John Piper, a convinced Calvinist, wanted to sit under the late Dr. Metzger.
     
  13. John of Japan

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    Okay, I ran across the original on the BB of the quote in the OP: "How can you call Bruce Metzger, who accepted and used the higher criticism, a defender of the faith? We usually refer to those utilizing higher criticism as tearing down the faith. Also, he did not believe in inerrancy and inspiration as orthodox conservatives define the terms. So, how is he a defender of the faith? He was a scholar specializing in the NT text but I cannot call him a defender of the faith."

    Paidagogos made this statement, and he is a genuine scholar and very reliable. He certainly would not make such an elementary mistake as mistaking lower criticism for higher criticism. So I'm driven further away from considering Metzger to be an evangelical in the original sense of the word. Unfortunately, though, many 21st century evangelicals allow all sorts of aberrant theology to be called evangelical without objection: open theism, annihilationism, universalism, etc. I also note that Wikipedia says that Metzger used higher criticism in his commentaries (which I can't confirm because I only have his books on textual criticism).
     
  14. TCGreek

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    1. John, you are onto something here.

    2. I wish not to exonerate Metzger on this charge of Higher Criticism, but I need substance from his writings. As you pointed out, you have found now.

    3. Now the burden of proof is on Paidagogos to produce for his charge of Metzger and Higher Criticism.

    4. Does his interview with Strobel mean anything?
     
  15. Deacon

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    Perhaps terms need to be defined.
    The quote correctly says, "usually".
    The use of higher criticism in itself is not damning, only when it is combined with skepticism, and most particularly in the absence of faith.
    Rob
     
  16. Salamander

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    Not likely, many on the BB like to keep re-burning people's bones over and over again instead of practicing restoration in the spirit of meekness.
     
  17. Salamander

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    Alot of "isms" there.

    I rather believe him to be well studied and much of his allegories worth the study, afterall, Metzger was fully dedicated to the study of God's word, so any indepth research into his life is bound to uncover the Gospel in the effort.
     
  18. rbell

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    I got Anathematized one time. Right before I had wisdom tooth surgery.

    Made me feel funny.

    :D
     
  19. franklinmonroe

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    I agree with Salamander. (did I just write that?)
     
  20. Rippon

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    Salute to Sal .
     

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