Home > Brandenburg, The Word > Eclectic, Critical Text, and MVO on Truth Serum

Eclectic, Critical Text, and MVO on Truth Serum

May 26, 2010

“So you’re calling me a liar?”  I thought I’d just get that out of the way.   But to answer it:  maybe, but not necessarily you in particular.  That’s what will make it easier to read in a blog post.  First, let’s go over some definitions, so everyone will be up to speed.   Eclectic and Critical Text people are the same ones.  Both of them support looking at all the textual variants and deciding what they consider to be most likely the original Words of Scripture.  MVO means “multiple version only” and it is supposed to sound like “King James Version Only,” except different.  They are the opposite of KJVO, but most of them, I’ve found, don’t like the MVO tag.  I believe it fits, however, so I keep using it.  They don’t believe in one Bible.  They believe only in multiple versions.  So it’s bullseye as far as I’m concerned.  It doesn’t sound good, but if you don’t like the way it sounds, then don’t be MVO.

And finally, “truth serum.”  Wikipedia, which is good enough for this essay, says:

A truth drug or truth serum is a psychoactive medication used to obtain information from subjects who are unable or unwilling to provide it otherwise.

I like the definition for the purposes of this post.  Alright, I figure that the MVO guys will say, “We’re telling the truth, so we don’t need no truth serum.”  Well, let’s just see, OK?  Our Critical Text guy has the Swedish name of Olle F. Lilfathe.  We’ll just call him Olle.  So let’s start with some control questions and see what he says.  The truth serum has been administered, so Olle is all set.

Q:  Is your name Fred?

Olle:  No

Q:  What is your name?

Olle:  Olle F. Lilfathe

Q:  OK.  Olle, do you believe that the Bible is the Word of God?

Olle:  Yes

Q:  Do you believe that God inspired the sixty-six books of the Bible in the original manuscripts?

Olle:  Yes

Q:  Do you believe that God inspired every Word and all the Words of the Bible in the original manuscripts?

Olle:  Yes

Q:  Do you believe that God has preserved His Word?

Olle:  Yes

Q:  Do you believe that God has preserved every one of His Words available for us today?

Olle:  No

Q:  So you don’t believe we have every Word of God available to us today?

Olle:  No

Q:  So when you say that God has preserved His Word, what do you mean?

Olle:  God has preserved most of the Words from the original manuscripts, but not all of them.

Q:  So you don’t think we have all of God’s Word today?

Olle:  No.  They might be somewhere, but we don’t know where they all are or what they all are.

Q:  Olle, do you believe that the Bible teaches the perfect preservation of every Word?

Olle:  Yes

Q:  Let me read one verse to you.  It’s Jesus speaking in Matthew 5:18, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”  What do you think that verse is saying as it applies to the preservation of Scripture?

Olle:  That God has preserved every one of His Words, even to the letter.

Q:  Even for today?

Olle:  Yes

Q:  But you said that you don’t believe that God did preserve all of them.  Let me be clear.  Is that what you said?

Olle:  Yes

Q:  But you’re saying that Jesus said that He would preserve all of them?

Olle:  Yes

Q:  Olle, doesn’t what you said Jesus would do and what you said has actually happened contradict each other?

Olle:  Yes

Q:  Are you saying that God didn’t keep His promise?

Olle:  Yes

Q:  Do you think God keeps all His promises?

Olle:  Yes

Q:  Did God promise to preserve all His Words?

Olle:  Yes

Q:  So do you believe that God preserved all His Words?

Olle:  No

Q:  Are you contradicting yourself, Olle?

Olle:  Yes

Q:  Why are you contradicting yourself, Olle?

Olle:  The truth serum is making me do it.  I guess I really don’t believe what God said He would do.

Q:  Why not?

Olle:  It doesn’t seem possible that He could do it.  I mean with all the textual variants and differing editions.  I don’t know how we could know which Words were His or whether we even have all of them or not.  It’s too hard for me to believe.

Q:  Olle, if you have 100 marbles and you gave them to me to keep or preserve, how many would you expect back later if I had preserved them?

Olle:  100

Q:  What if I had 94 of them, would you consider that preservation of your marbles?

Olle:  No

Q:  Do you think that we have all the Words of God available to us today?

Olle:  No

Q:  Do you think that God has promised that all of the Words of God would be available?

Olle:  Yes

Q:  So why don’t we have all of them?

Olle:  God didn’t keep His promise.

Q:  Are you sure?

Olle:  I’d say “no,” but I took this truth serum.

Q:  Thank you for your honesty, Olle.

Olle:  You’re welcome.

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  1. May 26, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    I don’t intend to get tied up in this, but one problem that the “Olle’s” of this world have, whether they know it or not, is that they seem to think that preservation ended with the invention of the printing press. It did not. Nor by definition is it necessary that God preserve every word in Hebrew or Greek handwritten manuscripts down to this very day. We know that he inspired every word in Hebrew and Greek handwritten manuscripts at the start, and that he preserved every word in Hebrew and Greek handwritten manuscripts up to a point, and it’s possible that every word in Hebrew and Greek is still preserved in handwritten manuscripts, but preservation by definition does not depend on every word being preserved in Hebrew and Greek handwritten manuscripts to this day.

    Again, preservation did not stop with the printing press. The printing press continued preservation.

    Hebrews 10:23 is a minor, simplistic example, but an example nevertheless. I know many have tried to assert that “elpidos” is closely tied to “faith” and can therefore be translated that way, especially since there are no Greek manuscripts extant that contain the Greek form for “faith”.

    While it is true that “faith” could be squeezed out of “elpidos” here, I don’t believe that’s what happened. I believe there was Greek manuscript support at one time. Adam Clarke mentions something about this in his commentary.

    We know that Scrivener merely reverse-engineered the TR we currently possess from the KJV. In other words, Scrivener constructed the TR we possess today from the KJV and from the extant manuscripts of his day that supported the KJV reading. I believe that’s why he put “elpidos” in Hebrews 10:23, i.e., because he found no Greek manuscript support for “faith”.

    We don’t know — in fact, we know almost nothing about — what manuscripts and other primary-source helps the KJV translators used, but we do of course know about the actual printed texts of Beza, Stephanus, Ben Chayyim, Luther, Tyndale and so on that they clearly employed. But they were not confined to those, as Miles Smith indicated in his Preface To The Reader. They were free to consult manuscripts apart from the printed texts, just like translators do today, not only Greek and Hebrew manuscripts, but from the vast treasure trove of the Masora diligently compiled by Ben Chayyim over the years, and which the KJV translators also clearly employed.

    Thus, we really have no clue what manuscripts they had access to, and we likely will never know this side of heaven due to the great fire of London in 1666, which undoubtedly destroyed many manuscripts since the fire consumed so much of London itself, as well as many other pitfalls that occurred to stanch the survival of various manuscripts down through the years.

    There are a number of places in the KJV that could be analyzed with regard to the underlying EXTANT Hebrew and Greek handwritten manuscripts, but at some point one has to decide where he’s going to draw his line.

    If the KJV is not based on one hundred percent accuracy from the underlying manuscripts, then the ramifications for that are right down “Olle’s” lane.

    On the other hand, there are those of us who believe that the KJV was constructed from one hundred percent accurate manuscripts, as well as being accurately translated from said manuscripts, and, unlike “bible” today, the KJV has the fruit to support that.

    John Bunyan believed that the KJV he held in his hand was an exact replica of the autographs, and he said so.

    Jesus told us that we would know them by their fruits.

    I would put the fruit of the KJV against all comers combined, and I would put the fruit of John Bunyan against anybody but the Apostles.

  2. d4v34x
    May 27, 2010 at 6:29 am

    There are some (many?) MVOs for whom your Olle is a straw man. Take AB from SI for instance. Even though he would say that since God promised to use fallible men (who messed things up) to accomplish His promise, I still think he’d affirm that God has preserved all His words. Technically, whether or not we know where they are is another matter.

    Then there are those who would say that the promises many say extend to the very letters don’t extend that far (e.g. William Combs, who reads that as hyperbole).

    There may well be real Olles out there, but its not all of MVOdom.

    • Joshua
      May 28, 2010 at 5:29 pm

      I think I’m getting my head around this kind of MVO’dom. To use Kent’s example of the 100 marbles given with a promise of preservation:

      You give the man 100 marbles and come back in a few years, asking for your preserved marbles. He walks out the back, then comes in with 150 identical marbles and dumps them on the floor. He says “Perfectly preserved among those 150 marbles are your 100 marbles – you figure out which is which.” And for the rest of your life, you play with your marbles (well, some of your marbles, some of the other random marbles) confident that somewhere in your collection is the full 100 marbles, even if you haven’t the foggiest which is which. A neighbourhood kid claims to be a marble expert, so he keeps a running and ever changing list of which marbles are the true originals and which are additions. You put much faith in this kid, and don’t care if you are using less than your 100 marbles, because you’re satisfied that they’re at least in your collection and thus preserved. Does this need any tweaks or does it pretty well sum up Blumer et al?

  3. Joe
    May 27, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    This article is hilarious! Ollie may be a strawman, but that’s exactly what I hear MVO’s (to buy into your definition) say.

    Again, does Ollie approach preservation with faith? No. If he did he would say “Yes, God preserves every word for believers. Though I can’t “see” this physically personally or historically or by “popular” (in the christian world) opinion, never-the-less, by faith I can “see” it clearly. If I am listening to the Holy Ghost, I will know God’s words when I “see” them.

    But alas, Ollie can not agree to preservation unless he, by the flesh nature, “sees” the words.

    Joe V.

  4. Joe
    May 27, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    So the question is, did Ollie come to know Christ through the gift of faith, or does he “know” him by practical experiential, historical, or popular (in his immediate world) application?

    I draw on the implications of these Scriptures. John 12:37 “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:” John 12:42-43 “Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”

    Joe V.

  5. d4v34x
    May 27, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Joe,

    Did those before whom Jesus did the miracles referred to in John 12 have to “see” them by faith only or were they manifest to their physical senses?

  6. Joe
    May 27, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    d4v34x,

    Neither. Those that believed did so by faith and were rewarded with the experience of physical sight. It is not usually a choice of one or the other for true believers. On the other hand, for the “experience only believers” they have only physical sight or experience.

  7. Joe
    May 27, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    d4v34x,

    I should have answered “both” for believers.

  8. Joe
    May 27, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    d4v34x,

    In Abraham’s case, he saw Christ’s day by faith alone. Christ attests to this. Since he serves the living God who is the God of the living, he also was rewarded when Christ came to earth.

  9. Joe
    May 27, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Our faith in preservation of God’s word as a result of God saying so is rewarded greatly when we read it and are filled with joy and a sound knowledge of truth with no mixture of error.

  10. Joe
    May 27, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    I do not think the MVO’s have either the joy or the sound knowledge in the words of the scriptures. This is why they try so hard to get us KJB folks to agree with them. Misery loves company!

  11. d4v34x
    May 27, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Joe. Those who did not believe, still saw the miracles physically. It was not the miracles that were rejected; it was the Savior. This is an apples and oranges analogy.

    As for the MVO’s joy in the word, you simply have no idea what you’re talking about.

  12. May 27, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Lamblion, I think you make a good point about printed words or text. Only hand copies could be preservation with some. If you can’t produce a hand copy, it’s as if it wasn’t preserved before the printing press. Why? I think it’s what happens when men start depending on the “scientists.”

    D4,

    Let’s just say we were talking about another book other than the Bible. So for a moment, get the Bible as the book we’re talking about completely out of your mind. Think about some other ancient book—maybe Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey or Plato’s Republic. Let’s say that we both knew that we both were not sure if every Word of one of those books were preserved and if they were preserved, we didn’t know where the words were. Would you say that every Word had been preserved of one of those books? Of course not. That’s where I say that truth serum needs to come in.

  13. Joe
    May 27, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    d4v34x,

    Really? For the first 15 years my Christian life suffered several MV’s. I had less joy or sound knowledge in the scriptures I read. I moved to the KJB because of scriptural problems. Now, after another 15+ years with the KJB I have complete joy and very sound knowledge in the scriptures. I know of many people who have a similar experience. (Though I do not agree with experience alone.) This is what I hope for for all the MVO’s.

    So I do know about what I have stated. To understand the scriptures by the teaching of the Holy Ghost through faith becomes the knowledge of Christ. By the words alone and experience, we always will lack.

  14. May 27, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Very good article!

  15. May 27, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Joe when you use the word suffered are you saying it hurt your spiritual life or are you using it the way the KJV uses it as allows?

  16. d4v34x
    May 27, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Bro B. We have to stick with the Book we’re talking about. Preserved has specific definitions in that context. I can say unequivocally that God has preserved His Word exactly as He promised He would. That’s a faith statement, a faith position. God tells us he does not lie. God promises preservation. You and I disagree on what the extent of the promise. But even if you or I am wrong about the extent, God has not failed, you or I have failed to understand.

    Joe, really! By your own admission you speak for amazingly small number of MVOs. Granted the number of MVOs I speak for is also very small, but my experience and those that I know is directly opposite yours an yours.

  17. Joe
    May 27, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Phil,

    Both ways. I had problems with understanding in my mind. The spirit conveyed the correct idea, but my mind was unfruitful, being restricted by the many confusing thoughts given in the MV’s I was reading. The KJB helped to remove the confusion, it witnessed to the spirit and it was consistent. So it did not “hurt” my spiritual life, just my mind’s understanding and agreement with the spirit.

    D4,

    I am not quite sure what you mean. I also don’t know that I admitted anything amazingly about MVO’s. I know that most get very angry with my stance, indicating to me that they are not at peace with their Biblical understanding. If I did not state this, I will not. I am not trying to “win” any argument concerning the topic. I only want for Christians the same peace and understanding I have concerning God’s word. If you don’t agree with me, then alright. I think you’ll miss something good, having been in the MVO sort of position myself.

  18. Joe
    May 27, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    D4,

    My wording is confusing – I hit the wrong letter on the keyboard. The statement should have begun with “If I did not state this, I will NOW.

    Sorry for this blunder.

  19. May 27, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    D4,

    No offense, but your comment (#15) really does illustrate why truth serum is necessary.

  20. Joe
    May 27, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    D4,

    Here are a few quick examples. Does the Holy Ghost testify that “the only begotten God” is the preserved word? This is a phrase I think the heretical Valentinus would use. Or does the Spirit of God witness to you that we can know Christ as well as or “just as” God knows the son and the Son knows the Father as it is stated in the NIV, NASV, and ESV? Is this the preserved word of God? Just what is revealed concerning the mystery of godliness if God is not manifest in the flesh. Of course Jesus was manifest in the flesh; so are you, and so am I. When the Critical text composers choose the minority reading of “he”,(and the English translators for that CT add “who”, or “that which”) instead of “God”, do you think they were working by God’s Spirit to preserve the word?

    Remember I said that faith has its rewards. Where does the preserved word exist?

  21. May 27, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    I would like those who don’t believe that God preserved his very words, down to the very letters themselves, to respond to this very short article —

    http://lamblion.net/Articles/ScottJones/veracity_of_the_old_testament.htm

    The article is very short and only covers one facet of the text. I could easily produce other examples of this exact nature from both the OT and the NT.

    Please don’t confuse your opinion with actual evidence, or confuse the assertion of some “scholar” for actual evidence.

    Please just react to the FACTS in that article.

  22. Joe
    May 27, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Lamblion,

    Good article!

  23. May 27, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    There is a much simpler explanation for “confession of our faith” in Hebrews 10:23 than LambLion’s explanation.

    While it is true that the other 53 times the noun elpidos appears in the NT it is translated as “hope,” not as “faith,” nevertheless, hoping in God is trusting in Him, placing one’s faith in Him. Furthermore, the verb elpidzo appears 32 times in the KJV and is translated as: trust 18, hope 10, hope for 2, things hoped for 1, vr hope 1. So the related verb is translated “trust,” which is very similar to “faith,” more often than it is translated “hope.”

    While not an exact match, Justin Martyr’s Dialogue with Trypho 101 is close for a connection between homologeo and elpidzo as faith/trust, where the OT “fathers” were confessing their trust in God.

    Thus, there is nothing incorrect about translating Hebrews 10:23 with the common phrase “confession/profession of our faith,” (cf. Hebrews 11:13—in the same context as Hebrews 10:23—and also 1 Timothy 6:12); although the more unusual “confession of our hope” would also be fine.

    Note that LambLion’s explanation for Hebrews 10:23 involves the assumption that there is no perfect printed Greek text today. This is a very heavy price to pay when one can simply note that elpidos and elpidzo are related. Many true Baptist churches today believe that the Scrivener TR is perfect and canonical—how many churches that accept the Biblical teaching of preservation think that practically every Greek manuscript on earth—or even EVERY Greek manuscript currently extant on earth—and EVERY printed edition of the Textus Receptus—and even all other printed Greek texts—are in error here?

    Note also, as documented in the comments on:

    http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2010/05/gender-discord-and-psalm-126-7.html

    that LambLion appears to reject sola scriptura, affirming that the uninspired writings of the unregenerate Masorites—and thus human traditions, cf. Matthew 15:9—are necessary to understand the Word of God.

    By the way, LambLion is correct that preservation did not stop at the time the printed press was invented. But this is a good reason to believe that Hebrews 10:23 reads elipidos, not pisteos, for the Greek text God had printed and received by His people had elpidos in it.

  24. May 28, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Ross’ assertion is once again absurd. I do not reject sola scritura. Juat as I noted that it is not necessary for a handwritten manuscript to be extant today for preservation to be still in force, as preservation did not stop with the printing press.

    Ross cannot understand things so simple like this, just as Ross is still grossly confused about the Masora.

    Ross doesn’t understand that the SAME Masoretes who gave us the Masora Magna and the Masora Finalis and the Masora Parva are the VERY SAME Masoretes who gave us the vowel points.

    Thus, going by Ross’ ignorant logic, we can accept the vowel points from those VERY SAME Masoretes, but we CANNOT accept the rest of the Masora given us BY THOSE VERY SAME MASORETES, and given to AT THE VERY SAME TIME.

    Ross has this cultic view of the vowel points, as if they have some magic quality and the Masora does not.

    Ross clearly doesn’t understand that the Masora is a COMMENTARY ON THOSE VERY VOWEL POINTS!!!

    The REASON the Masora was written BY THE VERY SAME MASORETES WHO GAVE US THE VOWEL POINTS IN THE FIRST PLACE is becasue the Masoretes IN THE MASORA were writing a COMMENTARY on WHY they assigned the meaning to those words BY THE VOWEL POINTS IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    But such SIMPLE matters are hidden from a cultic mind who has to deny the actual facts in order to substantite his own unscriptural and illogical belief system. Not the mention that the KJV translators and others considered the Masora as CRITICAL in their understanding of the text.

    But Ross is greater than them, and by his own admission, no less.

    In Ross’ view, if a handwritten manusscript doesn’t exist TODAY, then preservation has failed, even thogh for the rest of us, and for all who understand preservation, it is not necessary that a HANDWRITTEN manuscript exist today.

    Just ask Ross how he know that “THE BROTHER of Goliath” should be translated that way in 2 Samueal 21:19 when “THE BROTHR” is not in the text, not in the kethib, not in the qere, not ANYWHERE in text.

    There are simply place where the Masora, which was written BY THE VERY SAME PEOPLE WHO SUPPLIED THE VOWEL POINTS, are quite enlighteneing on text, since the SAME Masoretes who gave us the vowel points are the VERY SAME people who gave us the COMMENTARY on those vowel points.

    Ross has defended Wallace in Greek, even though neither he nor Wallace can even pronounce Greek properly, let alone speak it. I’ll submit the jury test once again —

    You Ross and Wallace who can’t even pronounce Greek properly, let alone speak it, asserting one thing.

    On the other side, you have native Greeks who are FLUENT in BOTH Greek and English, who GROW UP reading the Greek New Testament IN GREEK, who GROW UP reading the Greek Classic IN GREEK, and who assert that Ross and his buddy Wallace are dead wrong.

    Let the jury retire to the jury room to deliberate, and let them render their verdict as to who is right, and who is wrong, who actually understands the meaning of Greek words, and who doesn’t.

  25. May 28, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Oh, just to be clear. We KNOW that the vowel points were written at the SAME TIME as the Masora Magna, Masora Finalis, and Masora Parva because THAT IS THE VERY REASON for the MM, MF, MP in the first place, that is, they are a COMMENTARY ON THOSE VERY VOWEL POINTS.

    Ross says you can trust the vowel points, but you CANNOT trust the other three fourths of the Masoretes work, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE ALL RELATED TO EACH OTHER, and WERE CREATED BY THE VERY SAME PEOPLE AT THE VERY SAME TIME.

    The Masora Magna and Masora Finalis and the Masora Parva CANNOT be SEPARATED from the vowel points because they are a COMMENTARY ON THOSE VERY POINTS, given by THE VERY SAME PEOPLE AT THE VERY SAME TIME.

    But Ross is clarvoyant enough to tell us that THIS porion of the Masoretic work CAN be trusted, while THAT portion, even though WHOLLY INTEGRATED WITH and WHOLLY RELATED TO, simply CANNOT be trusted.

    That should be enough for any clear thinker right there.

  26. May 28, 2010 at 11:09 am

    And one final note on preservation —

    Ross believes that there must be a perfectly preserved printed Greek text today. Thus, he puts himself in the absurd position of putting his faith in a nineteenth century scholar, i.e., Scrivener, who reverse-engineered the Greek TR we possess today.

    Ross is prepared to trust this nineteenth scholar to have pefecty reverse-engineered every word of God and thus perfectly preserve the Greek text, while Ross simultaneously rejects three-fourths of the Masoretic work, based soley on his own rarified opinion.

    Ross clearly doesn’t understand Scrivener’s work, nor Scrivener’s own commentary on his work, which thoroughly destroys Ross’ absurd paradigm.

    Ross’ own opinion is his authority, for there is NO BASIS WHATSOEVER for acceptiong one fourth of the Masoretes work while REJECTING the other three fourths of their work.

    Nor is there any basis WHATSOEVER for placing one’s faith in the reverse-engineered text of a nineteenth scholar who himself stated that he could truly get it right with one hundred percent accuracy.

    Morever, unlike Ross, I have a far more certain word of prophecy in that I believe the King James Bible is superior to the reverse-engineered text of a nineteenth century scholar.

    I believe God has preserved the underlying Greek and Hebrew in the King James Bible, so that wherever they disagree, the King James is correct, so that wherever they disagree, the King James has preserved the TRUE reading of the autograph.

    And of course, for anyone with understanding, it is only natural that God would preserve his word in the lingua france of the world, which in the past was Greek, but now is English.

  27. May 28, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Correction: “who himself stated that he could NOT truly get it right”

  28. May 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    And finally, in addition to his other ridiculous assertsions and his gross illogic, let Ross explain why he accepts the MANY HUNDREDS of qere readings in the Hbrew text.

    The qere readings are NOT part of the text. The qere readings were put there by the VERY SAME “unregenerate Christ-rejecting Jews” who gave us the vowel points, the Masora Magna, Masora Finalis, and Masora Parve (of which the qere readings are a part).

    So why does Ross accept the MANY HUNDREDS of qere readings which are NOT in text itself, and which COME FROM THE VERY SAME MASORETES he calls “unregenerate Christ-rejecting Jews”.

    Why is Ross prepared to accept the testimony of these “unregenerate Christ-rejecting Jews” in MANY HUNDREDS of qere readings, as well as accepting the testimony of these “unregenerate Christ-rejecting Jews” in the VOWEL POINT, for the VOWEL POINTS come from these VERY SAME “unregenerate Christ-rejecting Jews”, when he is NOT prepared to accept other portions of the SAME WORK by these VERY SAME people?

    Let Ross explain why SOME of the work of these “unrgenerate Christ-rejecting Jews” is acceptable, while OTHER parts of the work of THESE VERY SAME PEOPLE is not acceptable to him.

    Let him explain why he trusts these “unregenerate Christ-rejecting Jews” in the vowel points and the qere, but not in the Masora Magna or Masora Finalis, especially since THEY ARE INEXTRICABLY RELATED TO ONE ANOTHER.

    Ross doesn’t know that a little leaven leavens the whol lump.

    For all who possess an iota of human logic, not to mention true spiritual discernment, if PART of the work of these “unregenerate Christ-rejecting Jews” can NOT be accepted, then neither can ANY of their work be accepted.

    But that is lost on the cultic mind who forces the facts to fit his dogma instead of letting the Holy Spirit guide him into all truth.

  29. May 28, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Don’t look for straight answers from Ross. Such as on 2 Samuel 21:19, or on the qere readings, or on an explanation of why the SAME Masoretes who gave us the vowel points and the qere CAN be trust in those, but why the VERY SAME people CANNOT be trusted in the others.

    Instead, look for smokecreens from Ross and referrals to articles he has written, not a single one I have ever read even addresses the question, let alone answers it.

    Let’s see if Ross can just give a simple, straightforward answer here that, first — he actually understands that the vowel points and the qere were given to us BY THE VERY SAME MASORETES who ALSO gave us the Masora Magna and the Masora Finalis.

    If he can admit that, let him tell us on what basis he is competent to judge that the MM and the MF that THESE VERY SAME PEOPLE WHO GAVE US THE VOWEL POINTS AND THE QERE GAVE US, are NOT to be trusted.

    Let him give us a straight answer on just that, for starters.

    Again, on what basis does he just THIS porition of the Masoretic work legitimate, but on THAT portion he judges as not legitimate, even though given BY THE VERY SAME PEOPLE AT THE VERY SAME TIME.

  30. May 28, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    I waiting to see if anybody would ever catch this. Apparently not, so allow me to add one last little truth.

    By the way, there are many Jews who have knowledge of this issue, many of them believers in Yeshua, who would simply cackle at some of the assertions by Ross. But let’s take one that nobody could ever deny with a straight face…

    Ross states that an understanding of the Masora is not necessary to understand the Hebrew text.

    And yet, Ross himself, as well as NUMEROUS others, use the Masora EVERY SINGLE DAY in order to undertand the biblical text.

    Ross is the first person I’ve ever encountered who doesn’t know that the Masora Parva is PART of the Masora, and that qere readings are PART of the Masora Parva.

    Why is that important?

    Because there are reams upon reams upon reams of places where the MASORETIC QERE reading REPLACES the textual reading in the actual text in our Bible translations.

    In other words, the MASORETIC QERE reading SUPPLANTS what is actually written in the text SCORES AND SCORES AND SCORES of times.

    You will get nothing but equivocation from Ross on these matters, such as trying to assert that points and the qere are part of the text (they are not), but were IN FACT given to us BY THE MASORETES.

    Ad infinitum.

  31. d4v34x
    May 28, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Wow with the comment spam!

  32. May 28, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    I know there are many reading this who may find the above material daunting, so let me try to explain it at least basically…

    “Ancient Hebrew had no written system of vowels… the Masoretes invented a system of VOWEL POINTINGS and SUPERIMPOSED IT ON THE TEXT. Vowels and accents were written under, within, and above the existing text. The Msaoretes also MADE TEXTUAL ANNOTATIONS and placed them on the side of the page (Masora Parva), at the top and bottom of the page (Masorah Magna), and at the end of individual books (Masorah Finalis). Some notes contained statistical information about the frequency of occurrence of words, groups of words, or special forms. Others represented early attempts to improve the Hebrew text and clarify its meaning.” Page Kelley, Biblical Hebrew, An Introductroy Grammer, p 6, 436

    The QERE readings are INFALLIBLY intertwined with the above, and actually make up the Masora Parva. There are NUMUEROUS places in the actual Hebrew TEXT where WHAT IS WRITTEN is NOT acceptable, and where the QERE reading is instead employed.

    And EVERY QERE reading is a PRODUCT of the MASORETES, the VERY SAME MASORETES that Ross calls “unregenerate Christ-rejecting Jews”, even though only someone who is utterly ignorant of this issue would deny that the KJV, as well as virtually all other Bibles, REJECT what is WRITTEN and instead adhere to the MASORETIC QERE in their tranlations IN NUMEROUS PLACES, and not only a FEW times, but REAMS, UPON REAMS, UPON REAMS of times.

    He who thinks that the Masora Magnus and the Masora Finalis and the Masora Parva can be separated from the vowel points is he who is an utter ignoramus in even the BASICS of this matter.

  33. May 28, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Joshua,

    Direct hit. You took the marble analogy one step further in genius fashion.

    Lamblion,

    I can’t quite understand why it is that you are so angry and perturbed or whatever is the correct emotion or dissatisfaction with Thomas Ross. You guys are not on the same page on certain things, but that doesn’t mean that he must be pounded down into minced meat. I don’t quite get how you get the “cultic” title either, unless you are using it in a way with which I am not familiar. I don’t usually think of someone who starts with biblical presuppositions to come to his belief to be someone who is cultic. Usually we think of the cultic person to be someone who is conforming scripture to his own personal viewpoint. How exactly is Thomas Ross doing that? I think he sees “jots” and “tittles” of Mt 5:18, actual Hebrew letters, so he believes in original language preservation.

    When Thomas gets to the KJV and reads “faith” and sees elpidos, he goes with a printed text that is around and has been used—both Stephanus and Bezae. Tyndale translated it “hope,” and the King James Translators translated it “faith.” To you that means it must be the Greek word pistos. And you come down like an erupting lava flow on him because he takes that position, using all sorts of insults to, I guess, make your point more clear to him. Just because someone doesn’t get your position doesn’t mean that they’re stupid. But let’s hypothetically say that’s the case, that is, we’re all not very smart, something that John Bunyan thought about himself (“the chief of sinners,” to whom Grace Abounded), in contrast to what you seem to think of your self. You’ve not been persuasive to me of your position. Thomas Ross thinks “faith” is a suitable translation. He showed that with a little work that you would likely ridicule. He still believes “faith” is the Word of God. Is “hope” not the Word of God? Is that what you are saying? If we read “hope” in the King James Version, like we read in Tyndale’s Version, would the translators of the King James been wrong? I would tell you to calm down. By the way, that doesn’t mean to pick up your ball and go home like you regularly threaten with a huff and puff. I’m saying get your blood pressure medication. It’s not coming across like Spirit filling to me. I think John Bunyan would say the same thing.

  34. May 28, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Your remark is undfound Kent. This is a prolem with you and Ross and some of the others who frequent your board. Instead of dealing with what is actually written, you deal with the inventions of your own mind. You have clearly demonstrated ths tactic on your other conversations with Aaron and others.

    In short, you and Ross have demonstrated a very emphatic inability to deal with someone actually writes.

    Here is my EXACT statement above —

    “While it is true that “faith” could be squeezed out of “elpidos” here, I don’t believe that’s what happened.”

    That utterly contradicts your own assertion where you JUST stated — “To you that means it MUST be the Greek word pistos.” (my emphasis)

    That is a patently false statement. I would suggest that you and Ross both learn to read what is actually written instead of having conversations in your own mind and then assigning those delusions to others who have not stated anything remotely like your patently false assertion. As I said, you and Ross have demonstrated an habitual practice of not comprhending even SIMPLE statement made those you contend with. Instead, you and Ross have both CONTINUOUSLY misrepresented what the other writes, and not just with me, but Aaron and MANY, MANY others.

    Secondly, it also clearly escpaed your notice that Ross is the one who yet again brought up the Masora, not me.

    The Masora is a complicated issue. Yet, Ross has demonstrated that he is a de facto ignoramus of the Masora, and it is necessary to point that out so people who are seeking real answers about the text will get them, instead the rank superstitions of Ross and his cultic mind.

    If you don’t like the tone of my response, that’s too bad, because I don’t like rank heretics who exhibit a pronounced cultic mindset confusing so many with their ignroance of matters that they neverless pontificate on as they actually undersood them.

  35. May 28, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    And by the way, your statements about Bunyan only prove that you are not very well versed in Bunyan. The fact is, Bunyan engaged in a number of polemical works, and his zeal and ire can’t possibly be missed by ANYONE who has actually READ Bunyan.

    Which means you have either not read him or you completely forgot what you read.

  36. May 28, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    LambLion said: “And finally, in addition to his other ridiculous assertsions [sic] and his gross illogic, let Ross explain why he accepts the MANY HUNDREDS of qere readings in the Hbrew [sic] text. . . . Don’t look for straight answers from Ross. . . . on the qere readings, or on an explanation of why the SAME Masoretes who gave us the vowel points and the qere CAN be trust [sic] in those, but why the VERY SAME people CANNOT be trusted in the others. Instead, look for smokecreens from Ross and referrals to articles he has written, not a single one [sic—“of which”] I have ever read even addresses the question, let alone answers it.”
    Since my papers on my website on the history of the controversy over the vowel points, and evidences that they were given by inspiration, in the Bibliology section at http://sites.google.com/site/thross7, answer LambLion’s questions on matters such as the vowels and the kethiv/qere, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. I am not going to cut and paste the answers that are easily found there (even apart from the fact that the Hebrew characters would get garbled). The Hebrew vowels were given by inspiration of God—God inspired words, not consonants. When LambLion says that “not a single one [of the articles I have written] I have ever read even addresses the question, let alone answers it,” he must either not have read my papers or he must have read them with the sort of extreme lack of care that, unfortunately, fills too many of his posts.
    Since my papers didn’t address the question of 2 Sam 21:19/1 Chron 20:5, I will quote the Word Biblical Commentary, which will be sufficient for showing that there is no need to emend the Hebrew text of 2 Samuel 21:19 or 1 Chronicles 20:5, or to postulate, with LambLion, that all extant Hebrew MSS and printed texts are in error, contrary to Christ’s promises in Matthew 5:18 and elsewhere:

    The problem as to who killed Goliath is sometimes resolved by identifying David with Elhanan (so already in Jewish tradition). Thus Honeyman (“The Evidence for Regnal Names among the Hebrews,” JBL 67 [1948] 23-24) has argued that “David” was the king’s throne name while “Elhanan” was his personal name (see also Pakozdy, ZAW 68 [1956] 257-59). . . .
    McCarter (449) . . . translates it “the Jearite (from Bethlehem),” hence a native from Kiriath-jearim but living in Bethlehem.
    Hertzberg (387) is of the opinion that the name “Goliath” may have come to designate a type; this is somewhat reminiscent of Kirkpatrick’s view (197) that there may have been two giants who were called by the same name “Goliath.”

    That answers everything LambLion has brought up.

    When LambLion asserts: “And of course, for anyone with understanding, it is only natural that God would preserve his word in the lingua france of the world, which in the past was Greek, but now is English,” he advocates an unbiblical Ruckmanism. God promised to preserve jots and tittles, Hebrew consonants and vowels, Matthew 5:18, not English ones. Furthermore, he can claim to believe in “sola scritura [sic],” but he denies this crucial Biblical doctrine when he affirms that the writings of unconverted, Christ-rejecting Jews are necessary to understand the ¾ of the Word of God that has been preserved in Hebrew.
    In my view, what is perhaps the best news from LambLion on this topic is, in post #26, that he stated he was writing “one final note on preservation.” Since he wrote 4 more posts after that, perhaps that comment was a kethiv needing a qere correction—but if he is done, that really would be great, in my opinion. I think it would be tremendous if his last comment was indeed “final.” If he changes his mind, however, and wishes to make more assertions like: “such SIMPLE matters are hidden from a cultic mind who has to deny the actual facts in order to substantite [sic] his own unscriptural and illogical belief system,” he can call me whatever he likes, because I am, Lord willing, going to be not in a situation to comment more for over a week and I will be very unlikely to answer him any more. Since he has called me a fool and its equivalents many times, I’m sure he thinks Proverbs 26:4 applies to me: “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.” Hopefully the verse will therefore encourage him to actually make the four posts after his “one final note” truly the last ones. Since I make so many “cultic” and statements that “anyone with understanding” can see through, why should he bother putting out so much vitriol? Since “anyone with understanding” already knows he is right, and I am wrong, and not he, but I am the one making “ridiculous assertsions [sic],”why not leave them alone? I end with a classic by LambLion: “I don’t like rank heretics who exhibit a pronounced cultic mindset confusing so many with their ignroance [sic] of matters that they neverless pontificate on as they actually undersood them.”
    I wish I did not have to deal with all the vitriol. May the grace of Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with all those who read this comment. Amen.

  37. May 28, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Lamblion,

    You are very entertaining with your impersonation of approaching or already arrived dementia, spinning yourself into the ground like a Tasmanian devil. With everything that you’ve written, your irate antics, I got a true guffaw out of your titling my one word “MUST” (always in caps with you) with the title of “patently false statement.” Well, here’s the thing, Lamblion, from reading you, I didn’t think we could have it be elpidos or pistos, either/or. Is that true? It could be either/or and we’re not sure which one it is? In the end, I guess it doesn’t matter as long as we have the word “faith” there, since preservation has occurred in the English in your system. I get the picture.

    I would guess that Bunyan had read Owen and perhaps Ben Chayyim on their position of the inspiration of the Hebrew vowel points, but you have read a Hebrew “grammer” that says otherwise. I guess you’ve never ever read the debate between the Protestants and the Roman Catholics over the inspiration of the vowel points. And since you’ve never read that, I don’t know how anyone could possibly trust anything that you say, such an ignoramus on that issue that you spent about three comments after your “last one” that argued about Thomas Ross’ position on the Masoretic origination of the vowel points, when he doesn’t even take that position. Is that perhaps an “invention in your own mind”?

    Regarding our misrepresentation of others, we’re happy to clear that up. This is an open comment section, so people can talk about our misrepresentations and judge for themselves. We don’t want to do that, but when you’re having a conversation like this in public, those can be dealt with, which is one more reason for you to try to hold yourself back from some of the wild accusations.

    Lamblion, you’re welcome to comment here. If someone can sort through your discombobulated comments and your free usage of words like “cultic,” there are a few things to learn in there in what you write. Of course you know that. You know, I mean, really, really know that people need to learn from you. That’s apparent to anyone reading you. And that is quite a bit different than the “ire” of Bunyan. We can all agree on that. But with you, we’re not talking about “ire.” You’ve gone quite a bit further than that.

  38. May 29, 2010 at 7:06 am

    What neither Brandenburg nor Ross can grasp is that the inspirtation of the vowel points has nothing to do with the issue. The issue has to do with rejecting the people who gave us the vowel points, i.e., the Masoretes.

    The WHEN they were given is another story. I am quite familiar with Owen’s defense of the inspiration of the vowel points, as well as the many debates about them in times past.

    What is clearly beyond Branderberg’s and Ross’ grasp is that the MASORECIT QERE readings are NOT part ot the text, no matter WHEN the points were given, and yet they BOTH rely on those points anyway.

    That is the issue concering the “unregenerate Christ-rejecting Jews” as Ross calls them. That is, both Brandenberg and Ross hail the Masoretes as “unregenerate Christ-rejecting Jews” and yet they BOTH rely on the QERE readings of these “unregenerate Christ-rejecting Jews”.

    To anyone with an iota of understanding, that fact alone demonstrates both ignorance and the vacuousness of their assertions.

    And notice that Brandenberg, instead of simply admitting he misrepresented me, instead tries to make a joke about it. Typical from him, as can be seen in his many other posts.

    But that’s what you get with people who have a form of godliness but lack the power thereof.

  39. May 29, 2010 at 7:30 am

    I also encourage anyone to read Ross’ articles on the subject, especially his “evidence” of the early inspiration of the vowel points. For anyone with understanding, it will be entertaining.

    Of course, as to why Moses would need to put variant readings in his own text is hilarious on its own face for anyone with a sound mind. And that’s just for starters.

    You can also find Ross’ anti Calvinist stance on his website, and linking to David Cloud for his “proof” no less, which is further comical in and of itself, since Cloud has demonstrated that he is a complete ignoramus on Calvinism in general, that he doesn’t even understand the BASICS of Calvinism, that he doesn’t have the first clue as to what constitutes true Calvinism, which he has demonstrated numerous times already.

    As I wrote in my article about the KJV Cult, they are all rabidly anti Calvinistic, and that is also quite amusing, seeing as the KJV is FAR AND AWAY the MOST CALVINIST Bible there is. FAR AND AWAY.

    I’ll be posting a paper demonstrating that in the not too distant future.

  40. May 29, 2010 at 7:51 am

    And this will be last post here, but I thought it necessary for those who still covet truth —

    While I am a great admirer of John Owen, I still recognize that he was a fallible human. Oh, by the way, Owen was a staunch five-point Calvinist, unlike Ross and Brandenberg, and yes, I know that the five-points had not been codified into exactly that term then, but nevertheless, Owen believed all five points, and he defended them staunchly.

    Unlike Brandenberg and Ross, who, from what I can gather from their writings, do not like Calvinism too much at all.

    In any case, one of the MAIN POINTS that Owen made about the early inspiration of the vowel points was his contention that the Hebrew text simply could not be understood without them.

    Since Isreal became a nation in 1948 and Hebrew became the national language of that nation, Owen has been proven deadly wrong on that count.

    Modern Hebrew is unpointed, and there is ZERO, and I mean ZERO, problem understanding the language WITHOUT the points. The same has now been proven true with the Hebrew Bible. A pointless text can be EASILY understood by a Hebrew speaker. EASILY.

    The context almost always makes the meaning PERFECTLY clear, so that the places in the Hebrew text that might be confusing are almost nonexistent.

    Israelis read Hebrew every day without vowel points, INCLUDING the Scriptures.

    Thus, the main foundation of Owen’s argument about the vowel points is obsolete. It is false. It does not hold water.

    Again, that was the MAIN foundation of Owen’s argument.

  41. May 29, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Well, no Lamblion, I didn’t joke about my “misrepresentation” of you; I just got a good laugh out of your pointing it out. I actually did take it seriously, which anyone with the ability to phonetically sound out words 😉 would be able to see. I asked you a question, which perhaps is beyond your skill set to answer. Can it be either elpidos or pistos in the text in Hebrews 10:23? Your answer to that question will tell whether I misrepresented you or not.

    If the Hebrew language is so easy to understand without vowel points, then why did the Hebrew geniuses, according to you and Roman Catholic apologists, the Masoretes, ADD them? They weren’t necessary, just a bit of redundancy for anyone who could READ the Hebrew.

    For people to get a hang of you, Lamblion, they need only see how you spent half your THREE comments with the red herring of Calvinism. And you contradict yourself. If men like Bunyan and Owen really were filled with the Holy Spirit, a theological point you regularly go back to, why depend on an apostate post-1948 Israel to buttress your point of view? John Gill gives several arguments for the Divine origin of the Hebrew vowels: “1) The perfection of language requires vowels. 2) The nature and genius of the Hebrew language require points. 3) The vowel points are necessary and useful to easier learning, reading, and pronouncing of the Hebrew language. 4) The vowel points and accents are useful and necessary. 5) It will be difficult to assert and maintain the clarity of the Scriptures if the vowel points and accents are removed. 6) One would be unable to support the infallibility of the Scripture. 7) The inspiration of Scripture is affected by the points and accents.” Are we now to hear the John Gill was of a cultic mindset? For you, that would be par for the course.

    AND I’M USING THE CAPITALS TO DISCOVER YOUR ENJOYMENT OF THEM.

  42. May 29, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Kent, that fact that you are manifestly ignorant of Hebrew should not deprive others of the actual facts. You ingorantly state that the Roman Catholics invented the assertion of the vowel points when anyone with an iotal of knowledge could explode such an ignorance assertion without about two minutes of research.

    Moreover, the fact that you conveniently vomit out false statements about Roman Catholics and vowel poitns while you simultaneously defend your equally ignorant partner Ross who sides with Wallace on Greek grammatical issues, who only happens to be probably the most anti-KJV person on the planet, speaks volumes.

    In short, your hypocrasy is no less flagrant than your ignorance. And your ignorance is vast, as you have demonstrated in your many blog articles.

    Of course, Gill is not the final say on the vowel points or any other matters related to faith and the Bible. In fact, we could EASILY explore Gill’s doctrine and compare it with your and see just how often you side with Gill. But then, that would expose you for the fraud and ignoramus you truly are.

    Unfortunately for you, facts are facts, and the FACT is, there are millions of Israelis and Hebrew speakers (of which you are neither ) who read an unpointed Hebrew text everyday, a Hebrew text that is far more complicated than the text in the Hebrew Bible in most cases, as for the most part the Hebrew in the Hebrew Bible is written in very plain langluage, although of course there are some great literature in the Hebrew Bible as well as prose sayings, but for the most part, what Israelis read in their newspaper everyday in an UNPOINTED text is more complex than the Scriptures.

    Thus, to assert that the Hebrews need the points to understand the text is just a further demonstration of your wholesale ignorance of the matter. There are millions of Hebrews who easily brand you as the ignoramus you are for your assertions.

    For example, here’s a typical Israeli newspaper article for you —

    http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/spages/1171078.html

    I can assure, Hebrew speakers have ZERO problem reading and understanding that article.

    Moreover, if you actually understood what the Masoretes say about the points in their commentary on the points, you would know why they were given in the first place, and then you would know why your assertions are so ignorant. The points certainly there for a purpose, but those who are ignornat of the Massora, as you are, have no clue what that purpose is.

    And the FACT that VOWEL POINTS do NOT exist in the DSS, althoug there ARE vowels in the DSS (go ask somebody what the difference is — it’ll be an education for you), would explain much if you actually understood the dynamics of Hebrew to begin with, which you don’t.

    Go ahead with your little dynasty from here on out. Others have already demonstrated that you are blockheaded and incapable of reading and responding to what other people actually say, which is you are banned and shunned by so many in the blogosphere.

    I’ll save my breath for people who aren’t determined to be completely ignorant, as you are, and who worry about how men wear their hair and how they dress and whether the wine in the Bible was alcholic, which positions have shown you to be nothing but a biblcal court jester.

  43. May 29, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    For those who don’t know, and then I’m through with this thread for good here…

    The Masoretic vowel points are discussed by Rashi, RamBam (Maimonides), and many other JEWISH scribles LONG, LONG, LONG before the Roman Catholics began to enter the fray.

    Of course, only someone who is UTTERLY IGNORANT of the issue would assert that the Roman Catholics originiated the assertions about the vowel points.

    This especially comical when one reads the great debate that when on between the Jews with regard to the Ben Asher and the Ben Naptali text, and the many, many statements of Rashi, RamBam, and other Jews LONG, LONG, LONG before the first peep came from the Roman Catholics on the issue, not to mention the GREAT DEBATE between the Kairaite Jews and with the others, who debated THIS VERY ISSUE long, long, long before the Roman Catholics even knew what a vowel point was.

    Now I am truly through here. I don’t care what is further said. Brandenberg and Ross have both made DEMONSTRABLY ignorant statements which ANYBODY with a little effort can confirm.

    Farewell.

  44. Gary
    May 29, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Lamblion,

    Now I understand your temper and insulting ways. I did not know that you were a five-point Calvinist. Thank God that people being burned at the stake is no longer fashionable.

  45. May 29, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    Remember, Pastor “Brandenberg [sic],” that you, not LambLion, are a “biblcal [sic] court jester” because of what you “ingorantly [sic] state.” Indeed, both you and I are so ignorant that there is no need for LambLion to even deal with the refutation of his argument from the modern nation of “Isreal [sic]” in my evidences paper. Oh well.

  46. JS Allen
    June 1, 2010 at 1:53 am

    @Thomas D Ross: LOL 🙂

  47. d4v34x
    June 1, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Now that that’s out of the way . . .

    I fail to see the epistemological necessity that dishonesty or doublespeak/think is involved in an MVO position. Your vignette doesn’t demonstrate, it asserts.

    Your comment (#20)seems to indicate I believe something other than I’m saying. Why must I?

  48. June 2, 2010 at 1:09 am

    d4,

    The little dialogue does just assert. But at a root level, I’m saying that “preserve” is a word that is being twisted all over the place and being used however someone wants to use it. And especially “perfectly preserved.” We are talking about “Words” when we’re talking about the Bible. That’s just the point. Maybe you are not doing it consciously, but I think the truth syrum would have you saying something different, yes.

  49. d4v34x
    June 2, 2010 at 6:19 am

    I would contend we have to precisely define preserve in this context as it might well be a word not used in the promises. Some may use that term however they wish, others use it by what they see in Scripture. Honestly. I don’t think you’re going to get very far with the “they’re deluding themselves” argument, except with the “choir”.

  50. JS Allen
    June 2, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Can someone explain to me how Matthew 5:18 can be taken to mean “That God has preserved every one of His Words, even to the letter”? That certainly doesn’t seem like a literal reading to me. I always thought that Jesus was talking about “the law” when He said “the law”.

  51. June 2, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    d4,

    I think people who are deluding themselves can be helped. I’ve seen lots of self-delusion in my years, so it doesn’t surprise me. Consider James 1, which talks about people being just hearers and not doers, deceiving themselves. Do you think there are many people who hear and don’t do? I think people delude themselves on this issue too. They make “perfectly preserved” do something less than Tide detergent.

    JS Allen,

    Of course, the conversation in the post is fictional, but to answer the point, I believe the teaching is the preservation of every Word. If we can trust that we have every letter of the Pentateuch, I think we can be safe to say that God is going to preserve His Words for us. You’re right in saying that Jesus is referring to the law, however. I take away from that a teaching on preservation in addition to a few other points.

  52. JS Allen
    June 3, 2010 at 12:15 am

    Thanks, Kent. I guess you were using Matthew 5:18 as a stand-in for some other scriptures that point to the full preservation of the entire protestant canon? And it seems you might have also been using Matthew 5:18 to summarize a set of scriptures that support a specific translation of the original scriptures?

    I’m actually pretty ignorant of all of the arguments, so I don’t have a dog in this fight — I’m willing and eager to learn. I have read a couple of Metzger’s books and a few others, but I found nothing to shake my faith that the 66 have been “perfectly preserved”.

    Now, I would hesitate to agree that every word of God has been preserved, but I suspect we’re on the same page about this. For example, I can think of at least two places in scripture which record the fact that Christ communicated something to others which is not detailed for us. That causes me no concern, however, since I know that God has preserved exactly what is relevant “for us”. Therefore, I would agree that He has preserved “His Words for us”, but I wouldn’t agree that he has preserved, for us, all of “His words” that he ever spoke. That is, He may in his sovereignty have had words that were not “for us”, which were not preserved. But any of His words which were “for us”, were perfectly preserved. The words of God that were “for us” include the canonical books of the Bible, and these are therefore “perfectly preserved”.

  53. Joe
    June 3, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I also believe that God’s words to believers are perfectly preserved, not just through time, but through languages. But I believe, too, that not all translations contain all of God’s perfectly preserved words. God, I think, will see that his people have his words.

    What I do not understand is how one can preach that the word of God is true if they do not believe that he has perfectly preserved them. This is why I get confused with an idea that so many versions that have different words and different meanings can all be the preserved words of God. (Note I leave out “perfect” here, because one must leave it out when discussing eclectic choices.)

    I also cannot understand how one can preach confidently with a lower view of God’s preservation of his words. If one claims that the words are preserved in all the various versions, then why does that same one usually also recommend reading several versions to get the true idea being conveyed.

    It just does not make sense to me.

    An example is Deuteronomy 15:4 “Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the LORD shall greatly bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it:”

    The modern versions all change the meaning entirely (ESV: “But there will be no poor among you; for the Lord will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess—”) even though a few verses below (verse 11) the same bible indicates the poor will always be in the land. This ESV appears to indicate that this topic is nonsense. (I checked the NIV and NASV and see the same thing.)

    So how should one preach from this new version text without appearing stupid?

    Joe V.

  54. Joshua
    June 3, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    I believe you back up your authoritative Scripture reference with “God probably said that, the UBS put him at 10:1 odds of having done so, so I believe it, that settles it! (pending future discoveries)”

    Not quite as succinct as the more popular IFBx statement, but you’ll get kudos from me if you can maintain a straight face.

  55. June 4, 2010 at 2:30 am

    JS Allen,

    Scripture teaches perfect preservation of every Word. This is historic Christian belief. The Words God preserved were in the language He wrote them. That’s what preservation is.

    Using Matthew 5:18, among other verses, to teach perfect preservation, would be like using Matthew 28:20 to teach that Jesus will be with His churches always, not just the audience that He spoke to that day.

    Metzger doesn’t teach anything about preservation in his books. He uses forensics as a basis for assessing what God’s Words are. This is new in the history of Christianity. Metzger produced Bart Ehrman.

  56. J. Paul Hornick
    June 4, 2010 at 5:00 am

    To me it is simple. The Bible says that for every idle word which men shall speak, they shall give an account in the day of judgment. That is a sobering fact. However, not to seem irreverent, it also says that God will give an account, for He does not require anything of us that He will not hold Himself to.

  57. Joe
    June 6, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Kent,

    “The Words God preserved were in the language He wrote them.”

    Did you consider the words spoken by God through the Apostles and disciples at Pentecost in the various languages (tongues) that the foreign hearers heard?

    Perhaps, if inspiration is given to the words, it does not matter in which language God preserves them.

    Joe V.

  58. June 7, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Joe,

    “jots” and “tittles” are Hebrew letters (Mt 5:18), and since we take our presuppositions from scripture, we believe preservation is original language. God promised to preserve the Words that He inspired, those were Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic Words. I believe that translation is good and scriptural for several biblical reasons, but translation does not fit into the doctrine of preservation.

    Thanks.

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