TR, CT, MT -- All results of text criticism?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by jmbertrand, Jul 31, 2002.

  1. jmbertrand

    jmbertrand
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    It seems like a common argument against the Critical Text is that it is the result of 'textual criticism.' But wouldn't we all agree that the Textus Receptus, the Majority Text and the Critical Text are all the result of textual criticism? After all, the TR and MT did not exist as such until editors compiled them, made critical choices concerning variants, and then published definitive editions, right? Would anyone disagree with this assessment? If not, then shouldn't the real argument revolve around principles of criticism?

    Mark
     
  2. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    The real argument comes down to: </font>
    • The definition you use for "textual criticism" </font>
    • The philosophy behind your textual criticism </font>
    • The objects of your textual criticism </font>
    Pretty much. I'll be interested to hear reactions to this statement, however. ;)
     
  3. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2000
    Messages:
    2,841
    Likes Received:
    0
    All are products of TC, but the question remains of what type? Believing or unbelieving? E.F. Hills wrote extensively on the difference (and was ridiculed in "Christian" academia).

    There is pre-modernism TC and postmodernism TC. The objection to the PM TC is that it was thought to be a child of higher criticism by many TR/MT folks.

    [ July 31, 2002, 06:03 PM: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  4. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    I pointed this out on another thread a few days ago when it was suggested that the eclectic text was the result of men deciding what God's words were. web page

    It was answered by quoting from Westcott who said that Erasmus did not practice scientific textual criticism. I responded that while that was true, I had not discussed scientific textual criticsm but rather the necessity of textual criticism no matter your textual preference.

    I think this is really an understated point in this discussion. No matter what text you choose, you have a man or a group of men deciding the best reading. The question is, Will those men tell you all the evidence (such as the CT and the MajT do), or will they not, such as the TR does. I think the previous option is by far better.

    However, we should be discussing the principles of textual criticism, along with a proper definition of it (to help those who think we are "criticizing the Bible").
     
  5. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    Chris,

    Just a few quick thoughts.

    I would be interested to explore whether this "believing/unbelieving" makes a real difference in the end. While it may, I am not yet persuaded that it does. The believer starts by presuming that God has preserved his word in the manuscripts. The unbeliever starts by assuming that a common source was responsible for the manuscripts. In other words, the difference is at a presuppositional, not an evidential level it seems to me. I am not convinced that there is a huge difference here since the belief/unbelief deal with "how" the manuscripts got here at a presuppositional level, rather than what we do with them now that they are here. In reality, all the evidence has been preserved.

    And if some think that it is the product of higher criticism, should not we correct them by properly defining the differences between higher and lower criticism?

    [ July 31, 2002, 06:14 PM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  6. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    15,176
    Likes Received:
    324
    IMO Mark is correct and the question, as others have pointed out, is which family is more reliable.

    From my own personal study of the matter I agree with Dean John Burgon (in many of his volumes) that the Received Text (or Textus Receptus - TR) dates back to 370AD (The revision Revised) representing a collation/compilation of thousands of Greek texts (and translations) many of which have been lost along the way. Burgon says that even Wescott and Hort promoted this date for the TR and (I am almost certain) gives the actual quote and date of W&H to that effect.

    SO, To use 4 or 5 so-called "older-is-better" Uncial Manuscripts which "disagree wildly" amongst themselves to amend the TR doesn't make logical sense.

    Now, I know that many better than I hold the Wescott and Hort view and some, perhaps most, with a strong faith conviction and I respect that conviction.

    In addition, the Lord has used some those of that conviction here at the BB to open my understanding about several spiritual things.

    I guess I said all that to say that I don't see the need to debate the details of my view but just to agree with Mark and give my point of view.

    Perhaps another thread could be started to show what John Burgon really said/taught. He certainly wasn't a KJVO (and that's not my opinion but fact and I can prove it [​IMG] ).

    HankD
     
  7. Jesus is Lord

    Jesus is Lord
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is a famous old university in my home town with a "theological" seminar. In Germany the "theology" you learn at university is
    garbage!!! The professors don´t believe in God neither do they believe that the Bible is the Word of God. Many Christians lost their faith by attending theological seminars in Germany.
    There is a professor at this university who published a book about the resurrection of Jesus. He said very clearly that Jesus never rose from the death. He never appeared to His disciples. He is dead! That was a shock for all Germans. Everybody "knew" that there is no God and that the Bible can´t be true and so on but... professor of theology clearly stating that Jesus is dead! What a shock!!! The church tried to fire Him (yes, that is possible in Germany :eek: ) but it didn´t work. All they could do was to remove Him from the seminar´s examination comitee.
    Why I am telling you all this:
    This "professor of theology" said that He does not have to be a believer in God or His Word to be a good theologian!!!
    Now... what does "theology" means. It comes from "theos" and "logos" meaning "The Word (or teaching) of (or about) God"
    Jesus said: "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."
    You cannot understand or even teach the Word of God and be spiritually dead! Only our spirit understands His words!
    So if an unbeliever tries to figure out what is the Word of God and what is not (textual criticism), he certainly tries to take passages like:
    "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. "
    You have to believe that it is God´s Word. Otherwise you can´t do your work with the respect needed for such a task.

    God bless y´all!

    Jesus is Lord
     
  8. Will

    Will
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2000
    Messages:
    502
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jesus is Lord,

    YOu wouldn't happen to be talking about Gerd Ludemann would you? He is considered the European head of the Jesus Seminar, a radical group of mainly U.S. based New Testament scholars. If you are, here is a good book you might be interested in, written around a debate between Ludemann and William Lane Craig, the great modern evangelical apologist on the resurrection of Jesus:

    http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product/79822650?item_no=15694X&event=SRC
     
  9. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    JIL,

    I understand your point but perhaps I wasn't clear. The issue is a bit different as I see it. If we have three different readings in the manuscript evidence, is the believer any better able to make determinations about which is most likely to be original than the unbeliever? Apart from suggesting some kind of special leading (which has some theological problem) I do not see how the believer is better able than the unbeliever. We are not dealing with matters of spiritual understanding but of textual evidence. Someone who denies inspiration and inerrancy has the same three readings that someone who affirms it has. Someone who denies inspiration and inerrancy might have different perspectives about how those readings got there, but that does not affect the existence of the readings. The evidence is the same. Again, I am open for someone to convince me that it makes a difference. I just have not yet seen it.

    Let me remind you that I am not talking about theology per se but rather about the preservation of textual evidence. In other words, we are not trying to understand and apply the text; we are trying to ascertain which reading is most likely to be original. Therefore, this is a vastly different exercise than you are referring to above.

    [ August 01, 2002, 09:53 AM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  10. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interesting. Truthfully, I'm not ready to say that the difference between believing criticism and unbelieving criticism doesn't make a difference. But since God has preserved His Word, even an honest unbeliever should be able to see the results of that due to the evidence.
     
  11. jmbertrand

    jmbertrand
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    The problem with the 'believing/unbelieving' distinction, in my opinion, is that it does not account for common grace. If you agree with me that our ability to reason is a consequence of being made in God's image, and that our failure to reason is a consequence of the fall, you should also concede that, in particular cases, an unbeliever can reason better than a believer -- even though one denies the Creator and the other does not. (This is the 'Salieri Problem': God sometimes gives His gifts to those who do not believe, and holds them back from those who do.) How can the unbeliever reason better than the believer? He works more consistently from an (unacknowledged) believing principle.

    That brings us back to critical principles and which are the best. So far as I know, Scripture does not reveal these principles clearly, so they must be inferred. An opponent of the Critical Text should, in addition to criticizing the principles underlying its editorial position, put forward positive principles. If he has already decided that the TR is the Answer, then he will have to shape those principles to fit that text, as Edward Hills attempts to do -- but readers will see through this. If he is not competent to do his own scholarship, he can mine the works of nineteenth century critics -- but revealing the secret life of Westcott and Hort will be as effective at steering today's reader away from the NIV as revelations about Sigmund Freud are at undermining 'Christian counseling.'

    Forgive this analogy (and don't take it too far), but in many ways, the textual debate parallels the Creation/Evolution debate, where a minority of dissenters attempts to overturn the mainstream view. There is some extremist rhetoric in the Creationist camp, but most people have realized the need to interact with the evidence, critique the principles of interpretation and attempt to provide alternatives on a case-by-case basis. They aren't spending a lot of time looking for evidence that Darwin made a pact with Satan and was secretly a member of the Illuminati.

    It seems like the Majority Text was supposed to offer a scholarly alternative to the Critical Text, but when it didn't turn out to be a carbon copy of the TR, support in the KJVO circles faded. But it is impossible to provide an alternative model of textual criticism when you are still pretending the practice did not exist before 1850.

    Mark
     
  12. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well said, Mark

    However, I fear this statement is shown too many times to be untrue. How many times have we heard, even on this forum, of the secret life of Westcott and Hort, as if it contributes something to the topic at hand.

     
  13. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    15,176
    Likes Received:
    324
    Did you notice how the proponents of the "secret life of Wescott and Hort" quited down when the "secret life of King James" hit the rumor mills?

    [​IMG]

    All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

    HankD
     
  14. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2000
    Messages:
    2,841
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm surprised you say this Larry. As a fellow Calvinist, I know you believe in total depravity, and so the unbeliever is unable to "choose the good." When a decision is to be made of A or B, the unbeliever will steer toward B (anti-God choice).

    To use the creation/evolution analogy, the unbeliever will always approach the evidence with a presupposition against God. So that whatever evidence he turns up, it cannot mean that creation is true.

    Similarly, the unbelieving text critic approaches the longer ending of Mark. romans 8:1 and John 7:53 - 8:11 and determines that they cannot be original, for God did not preserve anything, it merely followed "natural" text preservation as did all ancient documents, and moves it to a footnote.
     
  15. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with that in the issues of sin. However, when you are looking at an array of manuscripts, there is no clear "right" and "wrong" choice. All have been preserved by God's decree (if not anything else). The texts do not come with a "right" and "wrong" label on them such as sin does.

    I do believe that textual criticism is more a matter of science than of doctrine. There is no clear doctrinal teaching on teh "how" of preservation (multitude, majority, TR), only on the fact of preservation. While there are good arguments to be made for the majority text type, there are also good arguments for the eclectic text. In the end, it is not revealed to us and therefore, it seems hard to place it in a category of "sin."

    Why do you assume that this is the unbelieving position?? What is in the text that determines the shorter reading be wrong?? Or are you basing this on some factor outside of the text??

    [ August 01, 2002, 03:32 PM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  16. Jesus is Lord

    Jesus is Lord
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, I was talking about Him, will. You know him in America?
    Thanks for the URL!!!

    Be blessed.

    Alex (Jesus is Lord)
     

Share This Page

Loading...