Ted Letis - infallibility and inerrancy - the Benjamin Warfield shell game - astronomy as inerrancy source?
Benjamin Warfield and ethereal inerrancy
Mark 6:22 (AV)
And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced,
and pleased Herod and them that sat with him,
the king said unto the damsel,
Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee.
The ultra-minority Vaticanus-primacy variant (with Sinaiticus) is accepted by WH and NA and is translated properly as in the NetBible.
When his daughter Herodias came in and danced,
she pleased Herod and his dinner guests.
The king said to the girl,
“Ask me for whatever you want and I will give it to you.
Daniel Wallace, by theory an evangelical who signs inerrancy statements, has written claiming his preferred Bible text is "ok" for inerrancy. Yet he is responsible for this NETBible text which is a disaster for apologetics and inerrancy. Daniel Wallace always would take verses with smaller issues for discussion, avoiding the hard cases.
Should Wallace (and others with Critical Text theory) abandon ship here? Should he say "Bible perfection trumps my textual theory"? Or just dance and evade?
Granted, for Received Text and Majority proponents there is no issue. And since this only gets a "D" in the infamous ABCD code system, an editor can jump ship claiming personal prerogative. Meaning the word of God is simply your preference. Or you can come up with a creative translation theory that does not give the NETBible text. When folks simply want an "out", they can be quite creative.
Why would I say that Mark got it wrong?
The actual evidence vastly favors the no-problem all fine Received Text / Byzantine reading. What got it wrong was Vaticanus and a handful of mss. The evidence in Greek mss, Lectionaries, Old Latin and Vulgate is simply massively preponderant. And a second variant says basically the same thing and has strong Syriac, Coptic and versional support, plus the Diatessaron.
The evidence for the corruption is very minor. Why should Christian apologetics be hamstrung by Hortian blunders?
You can, however, ask the question to Daniel Wallace. (And any others supporting the NA text here.)
Peter Williams asked for the Warfield reference:Apologetics, including inerrancy, is always fascinating, and edifying. And you are often working with "problems".
If you have all the errors in the modern Critical Text, it is basically a zero-sum game. As an example, you end up trying to defend Gerasa, the swine marathon, when it is clear that this is a spot 35 miles from the Sea of Galilee. So you make up stories about regions.
And there are many hard errors.
To make it even more absurd, you often have to choose what text you are going to defend. Do you vacillate between competing variants?
Warfield "solved" this problem by claiming that the person claiming errancy has to supply the original text. This type of nonsense (when noticed) makes the modern Christian apologetics that uses the Critical and Vacillating Texts a laughing stock.
Hi Peter Williams,
The year was 1881, the new Critical Text was very vulnerable, since it was so weak in terms of internal consistency and elements like geographical truth, and the new textual theory made the Bible into a variable and changing writing (How do you choose what to defend? Do you defend clearly errant ultra-minority variants as authentic, infallible and inerrant?) And thus the new text needed a type of 'protectia'.
The Presbyterian Review, Volume 2 (1881)
Inspiration - April, 1881 p. 225-260
Archibald Alexander Hodge and Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield
"A proved error in Scripture contradicts not only our doctrine, but the Scripture claims and, therefore, its inspiration in making those claims." ...
"We do not assert that the common text, but only that the original autographic text was inspired. No 'error' can be asserted, therefore, which cannot be proved to have been aboriginal in the text."
As Rogers and McKim point out:
"the only way for this to be disproved was for someone to prove that an error existed in the original (lost) autographa or original text of Scripture."
Clearly a nonsensical demand to make to the errantist, unbeliever, islamist or liberal.
This astute summary of the Warfield demand is in:
The Authority and Interpretation of the Bible: An Historical Approach
Ch. 6 - The Defense of Reformed Scholasticism in America
Princeton Scholasticism's Resistance to Biblical Criticism:
B. B. Warfield versus C. A. Briggs
written by Jack B. Rogers, Donald K. McKim
Help that helps!
Yours in the wonderful name of the Lord Jesus Christ,
# 2,3,4,5 are similarly absurd, stacking the deck, but #1 is the one in question.We can actually go back a bit to a more expansive source from Hodge.
The footnote 172 from Rogers and McKim point you to the 1879 (actually 1878, the first edition had been 1860) revised edition of Archibald Hodge's Outline of Theology. There we have the first and larger expression of this position. The reference is to pp. 66-67. 75-76.
Outlines of Theology (1878)
Archibald Alexander Hodge
Go forward to p. 76 and you find the amazing:
" ... they must prove over and over again in the case of each alleged discrepancy each of the following points: (1.) That the alleged discrepant statement certainly occurs in the veritable autograph copy of the inspired writing containing it."
So we see even more directly that this is simply a shell game, a scholastic con.
Of course I disagree This is a logically absurd assertion. e.g. A person who does not believe the Bible would have to assert and prove the origingal text before he can claim an error? Total nonsense. Logic turned upside-down.
In a world of real logic, the person who claims inerrancy would show clearly and specifically for what he is claiming inerrancy.
As for my position, I defend the "common text", defined and readable. And I do not do ethereal inerrancy, for unknown texts. As I prefer working with real logic, rather than pseudo-Christian modern logic that has been deformed by corrupt text.
> eclectic scholars prefer certain minority readings from their highly “preferred” MSS ... “his daughter Herodias” or ...“Gerasa” ... the names of “Amos” and “Asaph” in the Matthean genealogy. Why not...simply say (pace Ehrman): perhaps the “preferred” MSS in such instances simply made a mistake?
It is important to mention that there are more places where there is a (usually ultra-minority Vaticanus) reading that is very difficult for apologetics and inerrancy. While a pure TR-Bzy variant is the historic Greek Bible, with no problems.
This list includes more, and is trimmed to be all rather easy to see, find and understand.
Mark 6:22 - his daughter Herodias
Mark 5:1 Luke 8:26 8:37 - Gerasa, swine marathon
Matthew 1:7 - Asa vs Asaphe (wrong person)
Matthew 1:10 - Amon vs Amos (wrong person)
John 7:8 - "not yet" go to the feast (Jesus as liar)
Mark 1:2 - prophets vs Isaiah (OT prophecy error)
Luke 4:44-Matt 4:23 Galilee vs Judea (geography error)
Luke 23:45 - eclipsed vs darkened (scientific error)
Hebrews 9:4 - golden censer vs altar of incense (OT contradiction)
The skeptics have a field day with these, and others similar.
Keep in mind that if the error goes over too high a bar of absurdity, like Nazareth in Judea in Luke 1:26 in Sinaiticus, it can be kept out of even the apparatus.
Peter, Common Text as used by Warfield would be the Received Text and/or the Authorized Version. And I was using it in the same way.
Maurice, your Mark 1:2 study is superb. (You sent it to me before it was TRENS available.)
> Maurice Robinson
"I would not have issues, for example, with either Ησαια, ουπω or εκλιποντος "
Maurice, this can get a little existential/philosophical.
The question becomes: what corruption would you support and defend if there was no alternative?
Yet, there is an alternative, a superior reading, so the question itself can be a misdirection.
Reading your words, you sound like you are saying that in the eclipse, Isaiah, and going to the feast, you would accept the harder minority reading if it were the majority.
So does that imply that in the other six so far listed here you would in fact:
"impose inerrancy as a primary consideration"?
Even if it did not match your textual theory? hmmm...
By contrast, Daniel Wallace will live happily with Amos and Asaphe:
"variant spellings of proper names were in existence in the first century"
Wallace avoids discussing Herodias, which corruption is in his NETBible, but even it has its (rare) semi-defender. Here is William Milligan:
"If, then, this reading of the masculine pronoun, as yet placed in the text by Westcott and Hort alone, be accepted, we have a new fact added to ancient history, and another ray of lurid light thrown upon the iniquitous character of Herodias and the dissoluteness of the Herodian family."
Thus the ultra-minority corruption itself changes history!
And there are lots of ways to do a Gerasa region dance, or a Judea geographical white-wash. The attempts are a bit weak, but in most cases the apologist can get away with the attempted hand-wave.
To a large extent the issue is cumulative. Hortian Vaticanus-primacy theory combined with lectio brevior have brought very difficult readings into modern Critical Text editions.
When an apologist is stuck with these readings (e.g. Norman Geisler, J. P. Holding, Lee Strobel) he simply does the best he can. Sometimes he learns the good ol cheap debating tricks. Sometimes they jump shift to the TR-Byz text as with Herodias.
My contention is that such an apologist is wasting a lot of capital and energy defending ultra-minority corruptions that are exceedingly difficult and problematic and that properly are seen as simply errant piddle corruptions, wrongly put into the modern Critical Text.
And the modern textual criticism ongoing deadly embrace of the Vaticanus-primacy perspective, combined with largely errant theories like lectio brevior and lectio difficilior, are in fact major roots of he problem.
What is impossible is the task that Warfield claimed for the person asserting errancy.
He made it their responsibility to first find the original autographic text, prove it was the original text, and then assert the error.
This is in fact an impossible requirement, AND it is clearly logically unreasonable.
All appeals to inerrancy that is only in ethereal original autographs are logically weak. The extra caveats, as above, put in by Hodge and Warfield are insipid.
My own position is different, I defend the perfection of the Bible in the apographa, the Bible I read, not the autographa.
And I do believe that using "textual criticism" as the window to look at these Bible issues is a zero-sum endeavor. Since textual criticism today has a basic underlying precept that the pure and perfect word of God is not identifiable. So it could never find an inerrant, infallible and perfect Bible. Mostly, it is a probability game, one where the calculations are wildly skewed.
Again, you are engaged in a logical fallacy. Using a couple of web sources:
Correlative based fallacies
Suppressed correlative: where a correlative is redefined so that one alternative is made impossible.
aka fallacy of lost contrast
the fallacy of the suppressed relative.
Warfield committed precisely this logical fallacy. The two alternatives are inerrancy and errancy.
If you are not convinced that this is "practically impossible", then explain with an example of how the person claiming errancy (who could believe would prove the aboriginal text.
Steven Avery5/21/2017 3:37 pm
And I was adding that the person claiming errancy might simply believe the whole New Testament was created as a docu-drama.
You claim inerrancy for some unknown text and then claim that the mythicist has to find a text?
By Warfield's standards the mythicist belief would prove inerrancy.
This is a bizarro world of illogic.
The lesson: if you set up a nice tautology, that has no practical meaning or purpose at all, it can not be overthrown.
True and well-known in Logic 101.
That is now the current popular ETC view of inerrancy. (Maurice Robinson as one apparent exception on this thread, since he remains concerned with practical inerrancy in actual Bibles.
"Whether the inerrancy is observable or not by humans is irrelevant, because there’s a Divine Observer." - Peter Williams
Thus inerrancy for Peter Williams, Ed Dingess and others is a doctrine that has nothing to do with Bibles that actually exist. The only one who observes the inerrancy is God, on a Bible unknowable to humans.
Inerrancy is now, we may say, a prayer doctrine, when evangelicals become textual critics.
> Ed Dingess
> The doctrine of inspiration/inerrancy has never extended to copies, EVER. This is an equivocation on your part. And that is a logical fallacy.
Ed, every statement and claim you make is simply wrong.
(And this is beyond your still not understanding the blatant, absurd fallacy in the Warfieldian construct that the person claiming errancy must find and prove the aboriginal text.)
Kent Brandenburg gives some of the refutation of your position, in a blog post where he is working with:
Richard A. Muller's Post Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 2, Holy Scripture: The Cognitive Foundation of Theology
Richard Muller and the History of the Preservation of Scripture pt. 1
Kent Brandenburg - April, 2010
By "original and authentic" text, the Protestant orthodox do not mean the autographa which no one can possess but the apographa in the original tongue which are the source of all versions.... The case for Scripture as an infallible rule of faith and practice . . . . rests on an examination of the apographa and does not seek the infinite regress of the lost autographa as a prop for textual infallibility. ... Turretin and other high and late orthodox writers argued that the authenticity and infallibility of Scripture must be identified in and of the apographa, not in and of lost autographa.
And note this quote, especially appropriate to the moderns:
"All too much discussion of the Reformers' methods has attempted to turn them into precursors of the modern critical method, when in fact, the developments of exegesis and hermeneutics in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries both precede and, frequently conflict with (as well as occasionally adumbrate) the methods of the modern era."
This also applies to the approach to textual analysis, inspiration and preservation and infallibility and inerrancy.
> Ed Dingess
"The necessary condition for the doctrine of an errant text is knowledge of that errant text."
This is your basic error, the correct way of placing this works with the simple concept of he who affirms, must prove. A person who does not believe the Bible does not have to prove an original text.
And thus the fundamental affirmation here is that there is a Bible text, given by God, that is inerrant. And then we can tweak your statement to be 100% correct.
Ed Dingess corrected corollary:
** "The necessary condition for the doctrine of an inerrant text is knowledge of that inerrant text." **
Amen! Thank you, Jesus!
This is the fundamental logical and textual and spiritual point. Hopefully, this simple truth is something upon which we can agree.
Steven Avery5/23/2017 6:09 am
Thank you for the Michael Graves reference. And agree on the Woodbridge nod, lots of fine historical backdrop. Also in the mix is Richard Alfred Muller, Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics - Holy Scripture Vol 2, which I mention in a post about the apographa and autographa issue.
For a survey of the early church writings, we have a fine earlier book available online:
The inspiration and authority of Holy Scripture : a study in the literature of the first five centuries (1919)
George Duncan Barry
Augustine is on p. 137-146 with the quote given by Maurice Robinson on p. 146 "...no single error due to the author..." in a differing translation.
When I checked the composite quote from Theophilus of Antioch (used by Pickering from Barry) I noticed that the composite method needs careful checking of the original source for context.
Note that Barry is more involved in inspiration than infallibility and inerrancy.
Steven Avery5/23/2017 3:06 am
We should point out an example where even Critical Text aficianados, evangelical or atheist, reject their normal textual approach simply because it is unacceptable from the perspective of inerrancy.
"under a candlestick" in Mark 4:21.
ἐπὶ] B2 2427 Byz ς WHtext
ὑπὸ] *א B* f13 33 1071 pc WHmg
And he said unto them,
Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel,
or under a bed?
and not to be set on a candlestick?
Hort put it in his margin, he respected the reading, yet by textual evidences it would easily have been in the text. Why not?
"under" went over the high bar threshold of errancy, so it was not included in the Critical Text. The real question then is not the concept, but how high the bars of errancy and/or absurdity before a reading will be rejected.
To some Jesus being angry in Mark 1:41 is the original text. Yet to others, it is over the bar of absurdity, even if it had any substantive textual evidence (which it does not.)
Inerrancy and Textual Analysis
Overall, I think the most germane Bible verses to the OP may be those, like Mark 1:41 above, where the inerrancy component is already packed into the Critical Text. And thus invisible to most of our theorists, who use the CT and its apparatus and its biases and its rigging as a normal starting point.. Thus our textual critics are being driven, or ruled, by inerrancy concerns without even being aware of the process!
Here is another:
The rest said, Let be,
let us see whether Elias will come to save him.
The following is the addition in the Alexandrian mss and given double confusion brackets by Westcott-Hort:
“And another [soldier] took a spear and pierced him in the side, and water and blood flowed out.” - NETBible note
This one they have removed from the Critical Text, pretty clearly because of the inerrancy concerns with John 19:34 and the question as to whether Jesus was alive or dead at the time.
Hort had it in the text with his double bracket confusion. Today it is the rejected section, with the omission getting a B in the ABCD system.
By manuscript evidence, by Critical Text sensibilities, this sentence would easily be included, with Vaticanus, Sinaiticus and much more evidence in support.
Thus our evangelicals, and even the atheists, who are Critical Text aficianados, have a sentence that is omitted with inerrancy as a prime consideration.
Looking at Whitney and Weiss discussing Hort, there are other verses where the rejection was possibly the weakness, or errancy, of the Vaticanus-primacy text. Mark 4:21, Galatians 2:12, James 1:17 Revelation 18:21, Hebrews 1:8 and Acts 12:25 are some that could be checked..
SA: “like Mark 1:41 above, where the inerrancy component is already packed into the Critical Text.”
Maurice properly questions this above. He is correct, I meant to be referencing Mark 4:21, under a a candlestick. My error.
Timothy, great question, and the answer is a very slightly qualified YES,
Matthew 27:49 is a good example. By Alexandrian Critical Text standards the evidence for the inclusion is massive. Thus the note from Maurice Robinson right above, which de facto expresses puzzlement that the sentence is given sort shrift in CT circles.
And I think it is well known that the Metzger internal considerations, often passed down from Hort and others, are based on moving the target to match the Alexandrian-Vaticanus arrow. They are apologetically based. You can easily find inconsistencies. (James Snapp is good on that kind of stuff.)
There are lots of legitimate reasons why Matthew and John could use similar wording to describe the same event.
Thus I contend that errancy embarrassment is at the core. Similarly for "his daughter Herodias" being left out of most English Bibles despite being preferred in the NA CT (not sure of the ABCD code offhand.)
Now I don't want this to sound too dogmatic, I am certainly open to counterpoint, this is simply sharing what I sense to be the underlying cause. And thus, is directly germane to the Peter Wiliams blog post.