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Especially For Seminary Students

The Lord saves you. You endeavor to devote your life to the cause of the gospel and Jesus' eternal kingdom. Praise God! But the first place the devil attacks is in your first Greek course, where (in all likelihood) you're introduced to a different Greek text than what the historic church received and used. Read the stuff you're not told about.

UBS Greek Text: An Eclectic Text

  • Is a "frankenstein" Greek text
  • Does not match any single existing manuscript
  • This approach was concocted by German higher critics in the early 1800's (Jakob Griesbach)
  • Introduced in 1861 by Westcott and Hort, with the Revised Version
  • Dean John Burgon, a peer to Westcott and Hort, gave an amazingly detailed assessment of their Critical Text, in his seminal book, The Revision Revised.

Westcott and Hort's Text Critical Method

  • Based on an unbiblical approach to the Bible
  • Treats God's Word like any other book of man
  • Devoid of any scriptural basis or justification
  • Fascinated with Constantine von Tischendorf's "discovery" of two allegedly ancient Greek manuscripts

Tischendorf's Dubious Claims

  • Rescued Codex Sinaiticus from a monastery where cold monks burned old documents to keep warm
  • Indeed, some outer pages of Sinaiticus looked burnt ... on purpose
  • You don't burn vellum to keep warm.  It puts out an acrid smelly smoke.
  • Why would monks burn the very documents for which their order exists?
  • This topic is best covered by Dr. David Sorenson's book, Neither Oldest Nor Best.
  • Biblical Archaeology also questioned Tischendorf's claims in their Sept 2015 issue.

Westcott and Hort Were Heretics

  • Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828-1892) --
    • Doubted Christ's atonement, calling it "fictitious substituted penalty" and "fictitious substituted righteousness"
    • Doubted "infallibility of a canonical" scripture
    • Disbelieved the first 3 chapters of Genesis as literal history
    • Didn't believe the garden of Eden literally existed
    • Thought "the positive doctrines of the Evangelicals were perverted", citing serious differences on the "subject of authority and especially the authority of the Bible"
    • Was enraptured with Darwin's theory of evolution; thought it "unanswerable"
    • Had no fear of hell, even when living "most godlessly"
    • Reasoned that the devil did not exist
    • Felt the Greek philosophers and Stoics were "done an injustice" by those who "received the Christian revelation"
    • Believed that "Protestantism is only parenthetical and temporary", citing the superiority of the Irvingite (Catholic Apostolic) creed
    • Deeply hated democracy in all its forms
  • Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1903) --
    • Venerated the virgin Mary, desiring to kneel before a Pieta "for hours"
    • Believed Mary-worship to be in common with Jesus-worship
    • Promoted visions of 'the Virgin' in LaSalette, France
    • Held the Roman Catholic view of baptismal regeneration
    • Desired to study communism for 3-4 years, embracing Christian socialism
    • Called heaven a state, not a place, and could be found here on earth
    • Rejected the word "infallibility" when applied to Holy Scripture
  • Both knew they were subverting the historic received text, worrying that their work would "undoubtedly be treated as dangerous heresy", gloating that they "have successfully resisted being warned off dangerous ground." (#DUH)
  • Both expressed disdain for the Textus Receptus
  • Neither Westcott nor Hort ever actually saw Codex Sinaiticus, but only Tischendorf's redacted facsimile
    • The public hasn't seen Sinaiticus either, save a few privileged scholars, until July 2009 when it was published online
  • Their sons published their fathers' personal diaries; they are both online and you can read their heresies yourself
  • Dr. Ken Matto took the time to go through their diaries and produce a summary of their heresies, complete with reference citations.
  • Another produced a similar summary, finding even more damnable doctrines.

Today's Leading Text Critical Scholars

  • All of them are heretics, nearly without exception
  • Even Dr. James White is an errantist, by his own admission
  • Dr. Kurt Aland's highly liberal views were the subject of the Trinitarian Bible Society's quarterly record, Apr-June 2007
  • Barbara Aland, still alive as of 2018, shares her husband's heresies, and remains active at the German institution where today's scholastic text critics operate
  • Good guys: Dr. D.A. Waite, Dr. Edward Hills, Jakob Van Bruggen, Dean John Burgon, Dr. Jack Moorman

"No Doctrinal Error" Lie

  • It is claimed that the textual variants do not affect any major doctrines
  • I have personally identified 24 doctrinal impacts to Reformed Confessions, and an additional 7 doctrinal impacts to historic Christianity, documented in my three-part Study Series "ESV Corrupts Doctrine." (You can view the Powerpoint slides, part1, part2 and part3, if you don't have time to watch the narrated videos, which were supporting aids to a study on Rev 22:18-19.)
  • Ask your professor for examples of minor doctrines (since he claims "no major doctrine is impacted" by the so-called variant readings)
  • Ask your professor what exceptions he takes to his confessional standard (or whatever he made a vow to uphold)

"We Are Just Dealing With The Data" Lie

  • The text-critical method throws away 99.1% of extant manuscripts, and focuses on the 0.9% that vary widely among themselves
  • The 0.9% is called the Alexandrian Text Family
    • A family has children, but these manuscripts have no children (copies)
    • Alexandria is where the early heretics were located in the church (think Gnostics, Arians and Origen)
    • Copies of gnostic writings have been found alongside Alexandrian manuscripts, all of which demonstrate excessive omissions
  • The 99.1% are called the Byzantine Text Family
    • Byzantine area is where the Apostles' early churches were located (think Antioch)
    • It is reported that a scriptorium on Mount Athos, near Thessalonika, has thousands of unseen ancient manuscripts - but will not allow Western scholars to view them, as they are perceived as antagonistic
    • The Byzantine church only and always spoke Greek, so their Bible is in their native tongue
    • Scholars only allow these manuscripts to be counted by a few representative copies
  • Scholars have no way to reject corrupt manuscripts of the heretics, claiming "every manuscript has a story"
    • Sinaiticus uses transliterated Latin words not found in the early Greek era to which it is dated
    • Q93 F2r page shows use of Latin "maximo", versus Greek "magna"
    • "Maximo" wasn't in use until ~1350 AD
    • To illustrate, imagine finding an old document which said "George Washington sent a text message to his Generals on the battlefield".  Texting didn't exist in 1776.
  • Text critics also heavily discount translational witnesses, such as the ancient Latin (not Vulgate), Syriac and Armenian translations
    • These are "children" to be considered!
    • When we account for these translations, we realize an additional 19,000 manuscripts.

What Is Required To Accept The Critical Text

  • That you can have a canonized book without having canonized words
  • That God allows sensual heretics to fix God's Word for His Spirit-filled sheep
  • That God didn't mean what He said about preserving His Word to all generations (Isa 59:21, 1Pet 1:25)
  • That God didn't mean "word" when he said "word", but really meant "propositional truth"
  • That truth can be truth without regard to word choice
  • That God didn't mean "every jot and tittle" is more solid than heaven and earth itself (Matt 5:18, Luke 16:17)
  • That no man on earth actually knows exactly what every jot and tittle of the Word of God is
  • That the Bible in your hand probably is not the very preserved Word of God
  • That the Word of God isn't truly alive, and cannot heal itself when omissions occur, such as:
    • Exodus 34:1-4, when Moses smashed the tablet of 10 commandments - God gave Moses another set
    • Jeremiah 36:21-32, when King Jehudi cut up the scriptures - God gave Jeremiah those words back

What The Scholars Mean By Innerrancy

  • Your seminary professor may claim a belief in biblical inerrancy
  • He likely means that
    • only the original autographs are immediately inspired
    • everything after that is suspicious, including what we have today
  • If so, this means he believes the existing 99.1% of Greek manuscripts are "corrupted", whereas God calls His Word "incorruptible"
  • Without Divine Preservation, the doctrine of Verbal Plenary Inspiration is useless

You Can Trust the Textus Receptus

  • Largest body of manuscript evidence, spanning multiple generations back to Apostolic times
  • Plenty of Greek fragments, and more complete Greek copies captured in more enduring media and storage conditions later after the early church wasn't fleeing or fighting to stay alive
  • Plenty of translational evidence, showing proof the early church did what Jesus commanded them: be a witness to all nations
  • Professor Jakob Van Bruggen gave a lecture with a scholarly defense of the Ancient Text of the New Testament, in 1976.
  • Dr. David Sorenson nicely captures this in his reachable book, "Touch Not The Unclean Thing", with 450 citations from 150 historical sources.
  • Nearly all differences relate to spelling erros and blatantly obvious typos, all of which can be readily corrected through the multitude of extant copies

THIS IS THE BATTLE OF OUR DAY.  THERE IS NO CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT THAT DIRECTLY ADDRESSES VERBAL PLENARY PRESERVATION.

Send me a comment with your specific question, and I'll directly point you to other resources. I can also send you some of the books I reference for free.  Thanks for considering this vital topic.

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