Modern translations are based upon a corrupt critical text

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Modern English translations of the New Testament are based upon a corrupt critical text and should be rejected.

The modern critical text of the Greek New Testament (GNT), upon which all modern English translations are based, presupposes the general (universal) corruption of Scripture, meaning we (supposedly) cannot trust the extant Greek manuscript copies of the New Testament. This notion was first put forward by Richard Simon — a Catholic — in order to destroy faith in the Protestant doctrine of sola Scripture. In fact, Richard Simon was the originator of the “only the autographs were inerrant” theory, which, sad to say, was eventually adopted by virtually all Protestants — Evangelical and Reformed included.

Philip Schaff - Theological Propædeutic - A General Introduction to the Study of Theology

Philip Schaff, “Theological Propædeutic: A General Introduction to the Study of Theology”, 393

It is this notion, of the general (universal) corruption of Scripture, which we reject.

The text critics of the Renaissance and Reformation era were able to (and did) locate the authentic (infallible) autographic text within the extant original Greek copies. The various editions of the Textus Receptus are printed representatives of this authentic autographic text (with occasional important variations from this text (=variants) located where they belong: in the margins of this received text).

The critical text produced today by modern text critics is a corrupt text. It is not — and never will be — a representative of the authentic autographic text. It was compiled by unbelieving critics for use by unbelieving scholars in the university setting.

“I am intrigued by the question of the response of the community whose [sacred] text has been “critically edited.” Of course when this is done, it no longer is a sacred text, because it is no longer the text which the community has always regarded as sacred; it is a scholars’ text.”

Paul Ricoeur, Figuring the Sacred: Religion, Narrative, and Imagination, p. 63

Translations based upon the corrupt critical scholars’ text of the GNT should never be used by believers for the purposes of devotion, worship, preaching, or study.

“The question is not as to the particular corruption of some manuscripts or as to the errors which have crept into the books of particular editions through the negligence of copyists or printers. All acknowledge the existence of many such small corruptions. The question is whether there are universal corruptions and errors so diffused through all the copies (both manuscript and edited) as that they cannot be restored and corrected by any collation of various copies, or of Scripture itself and of parallel passages. Are there real and true, and not merely apparent, contradictions? We deny the former.”

Turretin, Institutes, 1:71

“In their defence of the authority of Scripture the dogmatists were obliged to enter upon an involved discussion on the authenticity of the Hebrew and Greek texts of Scripture. It was their conviction, as opposed to the Catholics and Socinians, that there had been no general corruption of the Scriptures. Not only the canonical books themselves but also the sentences and words and letters of these books are authentic. They have not been corrupted by Jews or Christians, or by the errors or negligence or ignorance of copyists, but by divine providence have been preserved intact and incorrupt. There are, of course, innumerable individual errors in the thousands of codices, just as as there are in copies of other books, and these errors may even have been intentionally inserted by Jews or heretics, but there has been no general corruption of Scripture. Most of the individual errors in Scripture are variant readings of a technical nature and of little importance, such as omissions, spellings, transpositions and the like, and can be easily corrected. Such variations, along with diversities in pointing and accent, cannot be called corruptions. It goes without saying that the dogmaticians argue for the authenticity of only the original Greek and Hebrew texts, not for translations.”

Robert Preus, The Inspiration of Scripture: A Study of the Theology of the 17-Century Lutheran Dogmaticians, pp. 134-35

“There’s nothing innocent or innocuous about trying to find the historical text, because there’s a presupposition in the enterprise of questing for the historical text that is identical with the higher critical presupposition, and namely it is this: that the church has fabricated the data and the evidence about who Jesus was, what he said, and what he did. And in order to find out the truth and the reality of the Christ experience and event of the first century AD we have to go behind what is called the ecclesiastical text and rummage through the fragmentary sources that exist behind it from the second and third centuries, and speculate on into the third century, in order to find out what really happened, because the church [via the received text] told us a colossal lie.”

Theodore P. Letis: The Quest for the Historical Text, the ESV, & the Jesus Seminar (12:35)

About ajmacdonaldjr

writer, author, blogger
This entry was posted in Bible, history, Literary Theory, Religion, Text Criticism, Theology, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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