Montgomery / Kloha Debate – Information from Dr. Kloha

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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 Seminary, 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?”

The debate will be livestreamed starting at 9:30am at this link: https://www.cuchicago.edu/lca-live. BJS will be posting the debate on our website sometime after the debate for those who didn’t have a chance to watch it live.

More information on the debate can be found here.

 

Following are resources to read in preparation for the debate as recently published by Dr. Jeffrey John Kloha on ConcordiaTheology.org. He has also posted The Text of the New Testament: October 15 Presentation there.

 

This Saturday an event is being held in Chicago regarding the text of the New Testament and Lutheran theology. I was asked to participate, and after much discussion and hesitation I reluctantly agreed. My goal in this event is to bring clarity and especially faithful theology to bear on this topic. I recognized that this is an esoteric field, one which is easily misconstrued (especially by critics of Christianity). However, I believe that this work is essential as we seek to live by the Word made flesh and by His Word written, both for our instruction and so that we might have certainty concerning the things which we were taught (cf. Luke 1:4).

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Several people have contacted me over the last couple of weeks asking for bibliography on this topic and specifically a list of my publications, hence this post.

To get a sense for the numbers and types of differences among the manuscripts of the New Testament, there is a helpful Wikipedia page (But keep this in mind: there is a reason that Wikipedia is free). I will specifically discuss Mark 1:2, 1 Corinthians 2:4, and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 in my presentation, so I encourage you to look at the readings in those passages.

A comprehensive summary of “Recent Developments in New Testament Textual Criticism” was published by H. A. G. Houghton in volume 2 of Early Christianity (2011). A pre-publication version is available here. This articles offers notes on current issues in the field and an extensive bibliography.

Regarding the 28th edition of the standard edition of the Greek New Testament, the Novum Testamentum Graece published in 2012, I was requested to write an overview for the Logia blog, which is available here. Several of the issues pertaining to this edition and textual criticism in general may be found there.

My curriculum vitae is available here. A few specific writings to which I would draw attention, in particular if you plan to attend the event in Chicago:

  • I wrote a paper on issues arising from New Testament textual criticism which was delivered at a Lutheran Concerns Association meeting in January 2015: “Manuscripts and Misquoting, Inspiration and Apologetics.” This was specifically aimed at the lay reader, not pastors or specialists. If you are not familiar with the field of textual criticism and with the necessity of this field, please read this paper. I will be referring to pages 3-6 and pages 9-16 in my presentation on Oct. 15. You may watchvideo of my presentation from that conference.
  • The popular press frequently seeks to denigrate the truth of the Bible. This brief piece, published in the online LCMS Reporter, was written by me to respond to a January 2015 Newsweek article “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin”: “Commentary: ‘News’week on the Bible.”
  • I’ve also been involved in a few video projects on this topic. The most directly relevant is “The Bible on Trial: Beyond A Reasonable Doubt” DVD/video series, Lutheran Hour Ministries, 2011. I would especially encourage people to watch this one-hour video. A new 2016 video on Luther and the Reformation, which discusses issues surrounding the authority of the Bible, is “A Man Named Luther, Part 2: The Moment.”

I will likely post the text of my presentation on this site in the next couple of days. But if you’re interested in this topic, then I’d encourage you to do a bit of review on the topic first. Even better, if you are able then pull out your Greek New Testament and read it (including the apparatus).

Regarding issues pertaining to the differences among the New Testament manuscripts, I repeat here my summary from the Jan 2015 LCA presentation linked above (first bullet point, p. 15):

  1. “The view that the Bible has been significantly changed and altered has become embedded in our western pop-culture environment. This challenges the confession that the Scriptures are inspired.
  2. Inspiration is not “provable” as an empirically demonstrable event. Nevertheless, the argument that the differences among the manuscripts invalidates their authority can be shown to be a false deduction because:
    1. The church has always been aware of the differences in the manuscripts, and nevertheless confessed them as inspired and has been able to teach faithfully from them, regardless of which manuscript or printed edition was in use.
    2. The Scriptures are consistent within themselves; the passages where there are differences in readings that affect meaning are able to be compared with other passages that teach the same thing but are not affected by the differences.
    3. The numbers of manuscripts and the consistency of their readings belie the argument that wild and significant alterations to the text were common. This area in particular is not (in Bentley’s words) “fairly presented” by opponents of Christianity.
    4. The NT manuscripts in particular show evidence that they retain features that were of significance only to the original audience and setting, thereby demonstrating strong links back to the original copies.
    5. Recent discoveries have pushed the evidence for the NT text back earlier and earlier; the pattern of readings found in these manuscripts confirm and sharpen recent reconstructions of the text. These have not been highlighted in popular reports.
  3. Very close study of the individual words of the text will continue to result in some changes in wording. But we can rely both on the promises of Christ and the witness of the manuscripts themselves that the text is sufficiently firm for faithful teaching and life in Christ.”

That last line is drawn from LCMS theologian Franz Pieper, who stated nearly a century ago what is still true today: “What the Church lacks in our day is not a reliable text of the Bible, but faith in the sufficiently reliable text.”


Comments

Montgomery / Kloha Debate – Information from Dr. Kloha — 15 Comments

  1. There are two passages in the New Testament which appear to repeat the same words of our Lord.
    1. Luke 11:13. “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” ESV
    2. Matthew 7:11. “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” ESV
    The Novum Testamentum Graece reads the same way, with “the Holy Spirit” in Luke and “good gifts” in Matthew.
    For the Luke text, different manuscripts show the following variants where the Greek text reads “the Holy Spirit”:
    πνευμα αγιον (Holy Spirit) – 75, א, B, C, K, W, X, Δ, Π, Ψ, f1, f13, 28
    πνευμα αγαθον (a good spirit) – L 1230 1253 1646, ℓ 4, ℓ 12, ℓ 15, ℓ 19, ℓ 69, ℓ 185, ℓ 211
    δοματα αγαθα (good gifts)– Θ, ℓ 32m
    For the Matthew text I cannot find any variants.
    In this particular case the doctrinal significance is enormous. It is true that the fewest variants for the Luke text are for “good gifts.” So how do you decide which is right? It would seem that, for the text of an obviously identical saying, the fact that there are no variants shown for the Matthew text should be decisive. However, this leaves the possibility that some day a variant text for the Matthew text will be discovered. Therefore, I suspect that even more decisive is the argument from the “Analogy of Faith,” which shows that unbelievers are unable to ask for the Holy Spirit, and believers have already been given the gift of the Holy Spirit.
    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  2. Has the Rev. Dr. Montgomery been offered an opportunity to comment? Would seem greatly in order here.

    jb

  3. I do not understand this paragraph in the Montgomery paper.

    “At the end of his thesis, Kloha speaks of “the contexts of individual witnesses.” He asserts that these contexts “can be known only in the case of a handful of witnesses (for example F G), and even there only imperfectly. Nevertheless, the theological, ethical, and even linguistic developments that were taking place during the first few centuries of the transmission of the Corpus Paulinum must be understood. For example, only after a highly-developed Trinitarian theology took hold could the addition of 8:6 have been made.” It should be observed that if this view is accepted, no pastor should preach I Corinthians 8:6 as if it were the Word of God.”

    Dr. Kloha rejects the addition of the Holy Spirit in 8:6. How does this rejection require pastors to reject the whole verse as the Word of God? He is in agreement with John Chrysostom and Westcott and Hort. (See Kloha dissertation Vol 1 page 209)

    Does Dr Montgomery believe that the addition of the Holy Spirit is the proper reading?

  4. All,

    Have only had time to read the first half of Dr. Kloha’s paper.

    As I read the first half of Kloha’s paper, it seems to me that he is assuming that his view of what the church’s “judgment” is, and what “confirmation” is, is the same as Chemnitz’s. From my reading of Chemnitz, I think that when he talks about “judgment” and “confirmation” he is talking about simple “recognition” and “icing on the cake” respectively. He is not talking about the church making any sort of active decision whether or not a book (not to mention text or textual variant) is really inspired.

    The key point I am making: what does Chemnitz mean by judge and confirm? Can we determine this from context in his writings? Dr. Kloha says one thing, and what he says I think is at variance with the attitude of Chemnitz. One must challenge Kloha here, I think, to talk about what he thinks Chemnitz means, and why.

    On page 6, Kloha says: “This is critical: Paul does not claim that his message is ‘inspired,’ and on the basis of that inspiration therefore the resurrection must be fact; rather, the resurrection of Jesus occurred, Paul preaches it, and therefore his message is true.”

    True – but this does not thereby mean that those who heard Jesus and the Apostles preach before the resurrection of Christ were not culpable for failing to recognize and heed God’s words! – particularly if we are talking about the church (see Deut. 13 and Luke 24 [Emmaus] for example).

    Re: the Peiper quote in fn 37, sympathy can and should be had for all those pre-Formula of Concord theologians who rejected some of the antilogomena (Chemnitz to? Where is the hard proof of this? Flacius? – even secular scholars consider him the father of modern hermeneutics and the father of the modern discipline of history!) because of their unique situation in the battle vs. Rome. The main point is that ***Rome’s assertion of the superiority of the Vulgate over and against all other mss had to be countered and was a demonic attack of the most frightening order.***

    So I think we should be covering their sins here (not failing to mention or acknowledge these), not building off any of the doubting attitudes they might have had because of the unique stresses they were under (and it is my impression that in his later years Martin Luther kept mum about any doubts he may have had about James, for example).

    +Nathan

  5. Second half. Kloha quotes Preus saying this:

    “Scientific knowledge is evident knowledge; theology is by no means evident in the same sense, for it deals not with things to be known but things to be believed (τά πιστά). Therefore theology insists that reason that seeks to know theological matters be taken captive…” (203, Preus, Theology of Post-Reformation Lutheranism)

    and this:

    “The second characteristic that marks the theology of Lutheran orthodoxy is certainty, certainty of the divine origin of the Gospel and of all theology, certainty that true theology is attainable and certainty concerning one’s own theological position and confession. This certitude is of course something highly subjective, but it is not therefore mere fancy or wishful thinking; it is rather a certitude and assurance wrought by the Spirit of God, a veritable fides divina… This doctrinal certainty was closely associated with the doctrine of the divine origin and authority of Scripture.” (408, Preus, Theology of Post-Reformation Lutheranism)

    I will fully admit I did not expect to see quotes like this from Robert Preus. Certainly, I should check out the full context of the passages, but they do seem clear enough.

    And I think it is problematic (and perhaps goes back to Aquinas, with his distinctions concerning scientific knowledge vs opinion). What happens here is this: Even though we as Christians believe in Christ and know Him, His word, to be true – and grow in that knowledge – this is, really, ultimately about personal certitude. In other words, certainty is no longer associated with knowledge then, but confidence, assurance, etc.

    In sum, the fact/value split comes to full flowering in the lcms. Robert Preus said some things that unwittingly plant the seed, and Kloha brings it all to fruition. Maybe I am totally wrong – and I invite correction. But that, it appears, is what happens here.

    +Nathan

  6. The implications of this view, I think, are that we lose Luther’s ability to assert.

    For him, the unbeliever could be given *real knowledge* of the truth though the Scriptures:

    Isaiah 40:13 “does not say: ‘who has known the mind of Scripture?’ but: ‘who has known the mind of the Lord?’” Luther goes on to comment that “the perspicuity of Scripture is twofold… The first is external, and relates to the ministry of the Word [“all that is in Scripture is through the Word brought forth into the clearest light and proclaimed to the whole world”]: the second concerns the knowledge of the heart [“nobody who has not the Spirit of God sees a jot of what is in the Scriptures”]” (BOTW, Packer ed., 73, 74).

    Later in the Bondage of the will Luther uses Isaiah 8:20 (“…to the law and to the testimony…”) to circle back to the importance of the clarity and decisiveness of Scripture. Just from the Old Testament, to say nothing of the New, he marshals passages from Deuteronomy 17:8, Pslams 19:8 and 119:130, Malachai 2:7 and more to make his case. He writes:

    “if laws need to be luminous and definite in secular societies, where only temporal issues are concerned, and such laws have in fact been bestowed by Divine bounty upon all the world, how should He not give to Christians, His own people and His elect, laws and rules of much greater clarity and certainty by which to adjust and settle themselves and all issues between them?… let us go on, and overwhelm this pestilent saying of the Sophists with passages of Scripture.”
    Of the Isaiah passage in particular he says it “dispatches all questions ‘to the law and to the testimony,’ and threatens that unless we comply the light of dawn must be denied us” (126).

    Can we, if we adopt the more subjective posture noted above, ever hope to nurture such confidence? That we possess knowledge of the truth and can and should assert the same to others?

    “What is the house that ye build unto me?” – Isaiah 66:1 In the Bondage of the Will, this passage is also involved in the argument pertaining to Scripture’s clarity described above. Luther points out that Stephen quotes this passage to prove to the Jewish council that God did not command his people to build a temple to Him. And here, he notes that Luke writes “they could not resist the spirit and wisdom with which he spake” (Acts 6:10), and that Jesus Christ Himself says of the words His heralds speak, “your adversaries shall not be able to resist.” Luther recalls that to Stephen’s words the council “shut their eyes and suborned false witnesses against him” – to which he replied “Ye uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost.” Luther points out: “He says that they do resist, although they could not resist”, meaning that they very well knew the truth the external word brought – and the knowledge of the truth the external word brought – but internally suppressed it in unrighteousness. Once again Luther brings such passages to bear in his battle with Rome, asking with great rhetorical effect: “What is this but to say that their actual resistance will show their inability to resist?” (130-131)

    Do we have such confidence of the external clarity – and the knowledge of truth that it brings – of the Bible?

    “Hearing ye shall hear and shall not understand and seeing ye shall see and shall not perceive” – Isaiah 6:[10]

    In the Bondage of the Will, Luther uses this passage in a section where he explains that man’s blindness does not disprove the clarity of Scripture (as we have seen, a very prominent theme in the BOTW!). Of this passage from Isaiah Luther notes that Christ and the evangelists “so often quote” from these words. Anyone who cannot see the clarity of the Scriptures, Luther asserts, “if they are godless” (for they may yet become godly!), reveal… how mighty is the dominion and power of Satan over the sons of men, which prevents them from hearing and grasping the plainest words of God, and makes them like men whom an illusionist has mesmerized into thinking that the sun is a cold cinder, or believing that a stone is gold… [Satan is the cause of man’s failure to grasp God’s words, and] if [he] did not do so, the whole world could be converted by a single word of God, hear once; there would be no need of more.”

    Man’s failure to grasp God’s clear words (i.e. believe) does not result from weak understanding, as men like Erasmus claim, but on the contrary, weak understanding is ideal for grasping God’s words (133-134). Of course the Holy Spirit figures into all of this as well, as He works according to and through God’s word…

    Can this conviction be maintained with the focus on the subjective spoken about by Dr. Kloha?

    +Nathan

  7. @J. Dean #7
    I suppose many things are possible, but not necessarily likely. The fact that our Lord is quoted as saying the same words in both Gospels, just before these words, leads me to believe that it was, in fact, the same occasion. Also, in both cases, the Lord’s prayer precedes these words and is part of the same dialogue. But as I point out in my posting, “asking for the Holy Spirit” would be unique in all of Scripture; therefore, I believe both Luke and Matthew should read “good gifts.”
    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  8. @George A. Marquart #1

    “So how do you decide which is right?” This seems like a Straw Man. As Lutherans hold, all Scripture is about Christ and Scripture interprets Scripture:

    Acts 1:8 “Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me;”

    Acts 2:38 “Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

    Acts 10:48 “All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.”

    Acts 11:17 “Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?”

    This looks like, walks like, talks like, smells like, … , a “both/and” situation–not an “either/or.” When we repent each morning and pray the Lord’s Prayer, we ask for the gift of our daily bread, confident in our receiving of it–as with all the gifts of grace we seek as we plod on down here in the Church Militant. The verses in question are analogous in the comparison Jesus provides in the Parable of the Persistent Widow in Luke 18–the important offset there is in the comparison of the evil judge and the Lord. Same thing here I assert.

    As a simple layman, I’d say that if I spent much time pursuing this particular line of either/or sifting of Scripture, my faith would eventually become threatened. After all, faith comes by way of hearing the Word of God, doesn’t it? It’s not the case that we are called to find canons within canons or pursue critical activities that lead us no further than to vicious circles. We are certainly not called to find truth within our own heads after all.

    Sub Crucis, -g

  9. After watching the debate I was stuck with the impression that the two men actually agreed more than they realized, but they talk and think in very different ways. Because of this they never really understand what the other one is saying. Putting some quotes side by side is rather intriguing.

    -Dr Montgomery (JWM) says @3:10:28 on the video at http://livestream.com/accounts/21586532/events/6373723/videos/138897430-
    ——-
    “I do not have the responsibility to choose the best text. That is indeed Dr. Kloha’s responsibility and the responsibility of people in his field. But what I am insisting on is he start with the external evidence and privilege that. And only use the internal considerations where they are absolutely necessary.”
    ——-
    -Compare this to what Dr Kloha’s says he does-
    ——-
    You cannot do Textual Criticism just using one method. (2:41:48)
    ——-
    I’m fully aware that you’re not going to create a text using Thoroughgoing Eclecticism. And the method only really applies where there is textual uncertainty. If you read my work that is exactly what I do. (2:42:45)
    ——-
    I’m not telling students to write a new Bible. Thoroughgoing Eclecticism applies where there are controverted difficult passages and the effort is required to be as certain as we possibly can about the wording of the text– because we need to tale every word seriously. (2:53:52)
    ——-
    There are numerous articles that I have written in this field some witch are exclusively dealing with external evidence with no internal evidence whatsoever. (2:41:45)
    ——-
    I am fully aware of the limitations of Thoroughgoing Eclecticism. Dr. Montgomery is quite right to point out that nobody has produced a critical edition based solely on Thoroughgoing Eclectic principles. Personally I don’t even think it is even possible. And I did not do that in my dissertation. (2:40:53)
    ——
    I use Thoroughgoing Eclecticism, not exclusively… If you read my dissertation it is quite obvious that I end up using external evidence. In fact in my Viva, where I had my external examiners in Leeds, the guy from Cambridge asked me—or said—and the end “Kloha, you say that you’re a thoroughgoing Eclectic but in fact you’re a Hortian.” If you don’t know that means Westcott and Hort and their 1880 edition. I took that as a complement. (2:39:33)

    ——other quotes that describe why Dr Kloha uses Thoroughgoing Eclecticism
    ——-
    Every edition sense Tischendorf and Westcot and Hort in the 19th century follows an eclectic method. (2:37:10)
    ——-
    [Our doctrines of Inspiration and Inerrancy require (and assume) the Challenging work of Textual Criticism.] We have assumed Textual Criticism—we’ve assumed someone else’s textural critical work without doing the work ourselves. That is why I got into this field… (2:39:01)
    ——-
    The reason I prefer Thoroughgoing Eclecticism is it forces you to wrestle with every word of the text. (2:41:49)
    ——-
    What Thoroughgoing Eclecticism does is not prejudge the value of a manuscript. However, as I said before I looked at 60-80 manuscripts of 1st Corinthians. At the end of my dissertation I have about 40 pages describing the “value” of each manuscript. How effective is Codex Vaticanus in carrying forward the text? What kind of mistakes does it do?… What I value of Thoroughgoing Eclecticism is I’m not beholden to somebody else’s judgment; I have to do all the work myself. And then compare it to somebody else’s judgment. That is all external evidence is—the compilation off lots of individual judgments. It is simply what Westcott and Hort laid out in the 1880s, it’s on page 14—it is how the discipline has worked from the beginning. It is just where you start in the circle. My Concern with the alleged documentary approach is– A. you’re not going to get the finish line. It is impossible with the documentary approach. And second, you’re letting someone else make the decisions for you. (3:51:22)
    ——-
    I see my role as contributing to the larger project of textual criticism and that my judgments by themselves are not decisive. (3:29:31)
    ——-
    -They also seem to agree on what they base Authority/Inspiration/Inerrancy on but use different approach and starting point.-
    ——-
    Kloha:To claim that the scriptures are authoritative because of Jesus Christ is not Gospel Reductionism. It is simply what the New Testament teaches. I nowhere in my writings say that other doctrines are not important. (2:51:32)
    ——-
    JWM: What it does is to make the authority, the inspiration, and the inerrancy of the New Testament materials derive specifically and directly from Jesus Christ himself. (3:25:06)
    ——-
    Kloha: Let me Just point out that what you just summarized is exactly what I wrote on Page 4-9 of my paper. That is exactly what I wrote and exactly what I meant the entire time. (3:25:86)
    ——-
    JWM: Do you start out with the assumption that the New Testament is indeed the inerrant Word of God? Do you start there? The question sort of suggested that I was doing that. I’m doing the exact opposite of that. What I’m doing is building the case for the Inerrancy of Scripture from Christ himself and that promise of that special gift of the Holy Spirit to the original apostles. For me you’ve got to see that the material principle—the Gospel, and the formal principle—the scriptures are like a reversible reaction in chemistry. Right? If you mess with one of them, you’re going to ruin the other, and vice versa. You need to maintain the full authority of scripture, because if you don’t have that full authority, how do you know the Gospel is true? If you don’t have the Gospel you’re not going to understand when this revelation is endeavoring to do. They both need to be employed. As far as the epistemological side of it, the evidential side of it, you need to start with Christ’s promises of the Holy Spirit. If you say, well isn’t that circular reasoning because you find those promises in these same documents? The answer is no, because you are at that point working with these documents as regular historical document and nothing more than that. It is only after that analysis that brings you to the conviction that Jesus is God Almighty and he has inspired this stuff through the Holy Spirit that the documents that you began with as mere historical documents turn out to be the very word of God.

    Kloha: They are not the Word of God until you have studied it for a while?

    JWM:… It’s the Word of God period! That is what it is as a matter of fact. But in order to show that it is, in order to arrive at the fact, that it is something different from the Quran, you’re going to have to engage in an activity like this, or you are a strait fideist. You are simply maintaining this without any regard to evidence at all.

    Kloha: … I think that we agree on this. I’m not sure why there is a false dichotomy. I guess I’m an exegete. Keep that in mind. So, if it doesn’t say it in the text, I’m not going to be real happy with it. And what I find the apostles doing regularly is referring to Jesus Christ and basing their teaching and preaching on him—Again and again and again and again… You’re right it is a circle…focused on the Apostolic preaching of Christ. (3:40:21)

    -If you strip away the negativity, accusations, and all the presumptions ,I’m not sure that their positions are really that far apart. Based on what they said at this debate of course.-

  10. I don’t think they do agree at all, because when Dr. Kloha talks about judgment, it seems that he is not eliminating the idea that the institution of Christ’s church could, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, pitch, first, the Antilegomena, and second, readings from pre-16th century church promulgated versions of the Bible that the critic determines are no longer are supported/relevant.

    Again, as I have argued elsewhere, I think Satan plays the long game with the critical text.

    Montgomery’s position is also insufficient, I think. In some ways, it seems like Kloha-light to me.

    +Nathan

  11. @Nathan Rinne #12

    I’m not sure that you are getting Dr Kloha’s argument about letting the variant readings stand as Antilegomena correct. Considering a variant Antilegomena is not a way of throwing it out, it is a way to keep it. Dr Kloha wants to keep the “readings from pre-16th century church promulgated versions of the Bible” But regard them as Antilegomena in that we do not use them as the primary text to prove our theology. The Homologomina/Antilegomena distinction has been with us since the 4th century. I don’t think it’s purpose is to take away anything from scripture but to allow for the things that you are not 100% sure of to stay.

    We can know by Dr Kloha’s actions that he does not wish to throw out the traditional readings. He was attacked at the debate for being inconsistent for continuing to use the “Mary” reading in his Bible studies. Based on what he has said he holds both “Mary” and “Elizabeth” as Antilegomena readings.

    The text that the church has always used is authoritative not because a textual critic has scientifically proven that it is the original text, but because it is the text that the church has received and passed down to us.

    What text do you feel is the best text for the church to use?

    If no existing text is the best, should we make and publish our own Greek text?

    If so, how should we arrive at this text?

    Would the decisions made in the formulation of this text be more inspired and authoritative than other texts?

    If the Church would settle on a text as the one authoritative text, how is that any different from the Roman church declaring the Vulgate Authoritative.

  12. @Nathan Rinne #12

    Most of my questions were answered in your post

    “Satan Playing the Long Game? What’s the Problem with the Critical Text?”

    You make some great points. Can you compare and contrast your own view on how God works in the church to preserve the text form Dr Kloha’s view?

    you say

    “In short, I think what this really shows – for all involved – is a lack of trust in the church, and does not show a proper deference to its authority. In general, I suggest a further implication of this, because God preserves His word in His church”

    “Jesus’ default position was not that God’s assembly, or church, was the corrupter of the biblical texts, but its grateful recipient.”

  13. Remember, it is not int the knowing or understanding of correct doctrinal interpretations that qualifies us for God’s Kingdom, but it is by His Grace that we are saved, thru Faith(Eph.2:8,9) and we can take confidence in the words of Paul in 2Tim.1:12 – “For I know WHOM I have believed…” Not WHAT!

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