Lutheran Theologians to Debate Textual Criticism of the Bible


Dr. John Warwick Montgomery, Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy at Concordia University Wisconsin and Dr. Jeffrey John Kloha, Provost and Professor of Exegetical Theology at Concordia Semniary, Saint Louis, will conduct a debate about the philosophies of Biblical textual criticism on Saturday, October 15th, 2016 at Concordia University-Chicago in River Forest, Illinois.

The title of the debate is:  “Textual and Literary Judgments on the Biblical Text–What Happens to the Lutheran Commitment to Scriptural Inerrancy?

In recent years, several different philosophies of textual criticism have been offered to deal with the problem of textual variants in the biblical materials.  The debate will focus on the impact of one’s choice of textual theory on the classic Lutheran conviction that the Holy Scriptures, as originally given, are the inerrant Word of God.  This subject is of critical importance not just for theologians and Christian scholars, but also for pastors, teachers, and every Bible-reading layman.

There is no admission fee.  The debate will take place at the Chapel of Our Lord/Werner Auditorium at Concordia University-Chicago in River Forest (see  Starting time for the debate will be 9:30 AM Central Daylight Savings Time; closing time will be 1:30 PM, or 2:00 PM at the latest.  The audience will have an opportunity to ask questions of either or both lecturers for 45 minutes at the end of the debate period, which “Question and Answer” session will be moderated.

Parking is available on-campus in the multi-level University Parking Structure in the northeast corner of campus, on the west side of Bonnie Brae Place, with its entrance just south of Division Street in River Forest.  Other on-campus parking is available at: 1) Koehneke Community Center North Lot 5, which includes handicapped parking—entrance from the street is the same as the University Parking Structure; 2) Krauss Lot 3, entrance from Augusta Street, west of Bonnie Brae Place. For a map of the campus, see here.

There is food and coffee available at the campus Koehneke Community Center on Saturday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, at the Starbucks and Subway venues, but no food or drink are permitted in the Chapel of Our Lord.

Dr. Kloha recently published a significant essay on Biblical textual criticism titled “Theological and Hermeneutical Reflections on the Ongoing Revisions of the Novum Testamentum Graece”, in: Achim Behrens/Jorg Christian Salzmann, eds., Listening to the Word of God: Exegetical Approaches, Oberurseler Hefte Ergänzungsband 16 (Göttingen: Edition Ruprecht, 2016). His doctoral dissertation at Leeds in England was on the topic of textual criticism: Jeffrey John Kloha, (2006), A textual commentary on Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, PhD thesis, University of Leeds (see here). He is the co-editor of and contributor to the Festschrift for his doctoral advisor: Peter Doble and Jeffrey Kloha, eds., Text and Traditions: Essays in Honor of J. Keith Elliott (Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2014). More information about Dr. Kloha and his work can be found here.

Dr. Montgomery, in addition to his position at Concordia University Wisconsin, is the Professor Emeritus of Law and Humanities, University of Bedfordshire, England. His academic degrees include Ph.D. (Chicago), D.Théol. (Strasbourg, France), LL.D. (Cardiff, Wales, U.K.), Dr. honoris causa (Institute for Religion and Law, Moscow). He is Pastor Emeritus in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Dr. Montgomery is the Director of the International Academy of Apologetics, Evangelism and Human Rights, Strasbourg, France. He is the author or editor of more than 70 books (including Crisis in Lutheran Theology) and 100 scholarly journal articles. He is a member of the California, D.C., Virginia, Washington State and U.S. Supreme Court bars; Barrister-at-Law, England and Wales; Avocat à la Cour, Paris. More information about Dr. Montgomery and his work can be found here and here.

The Montgomery-Kloha debate is being sponsored by the Lutheran Concerns Association, along with our co-sponsors: Balance-Concord, Inc., The Brothers of John the Steadfast, The Association of Confessing Evangelical Lutheran Congregations, Minnesota North Confessional Lutherans, and Texas Confessional Lutherans.

The Lutheran Concerns Association (a.k.a. LCA) offers an annual conference in January in Fort Wayne, Indiana, prior to the Concordia Theological Seminary—Fort Wayne Symposia and also publishes The Lutheran Clarion. The Lutheran Clarion is published regularly to support issues and causes within The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod which build faithfulness to true Confessional Lutheranism and to be a clear voice of Christian concern against actions and causes which conflict with faithfulness to the One True Faith (see


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