Received Text and Majority / Byzantine Text Editions

Steven Avery

Administrator
Received Text and Majority Text

Facebook - King James Bible Debate
Mike Combs - Sept 17,2015
"...What is the difference between the Received Text (all editions), and that which is known as the "Majority Text"? Thanks."
https://www.facebook.com/groups/21209666692/permalink/10153190836591693/
My response on an important question, originally placed on Facebook on the thread above, and on the PureBible forum:

Facebook - Pure Bible Forum - Steven Avery - Sept 18, 2015

PureBIble Forum
https://www.facebook.com/groups/purebible/permalink/864267393665151/

===============================

Received Text and the Majority Text

The simplest difference is that the Received Text, the TR, the Textus Receptus (from which we get the dozens of major Reformation Bible editions from languages throughout the world, including the Geneva and the AV in the English) was providentially developed from a full-orbed textual analysis process. The result of a century of study from learned men of faith and vision, especially noting three textual giants, Erasmus to Stephanus and Beza. Their analysis included the following Bible considerations:


Received Text Sources
a) fountainhead Greek mss
b) historic Latin lines
c) ECW - early church writer usages
d) "internal" evidences (author's style, consistency, grammar etc.)
e) faith-consistent textual principles applied
f) auxiliary versional confirmation, from the Syriac
Today that would be called an "eclectic" methodology, in the good and proper sense of the word. Giving us the Greek (and corresponding Latin) Received Text editions, from which the Reformation Bibles were translated.

===============================

One-Dimensional Greek Majority Theory

In contrast, The Greek Majority and Byzantine texts (generally, these will be the same since the great mass of Greek mss are the Byzantine mss) in the various iterations mentioned above, are, for the most part, simply one-dimensional shells, only interested in (a), Greek manuscripts. Only even looking at other evidences in tie-break mode. Compared to the Critical Text, the emphasis is on the whole Greek transmissional history, not just a couple of corrupted Alexandrian mss. So, even though one-dimensional, this text is far superior to the Critical Text Greek New Testament, and the modern versions derived from that ultra-corrupted text.

Thus, these endeavors are not really textual theories so much as collation text tools. And they barely exist in English editions that are actually used as reading Bibles.

(As to whether this text is actually believed to be autographic, some proponents of a "Majority" or Byzantine approach can express an occasional faith-based view of the purity and autographic identity of their resulting texts. However, that is quickly deemphasized when trying to kowtow to, and gain acceptance from, the textual establishment, which pretends to be a science. In that environment, the proponents of a Majority text would seek to be accepted as simply an alternative textual theory, leading to a probability text .. i.e. our text is more likely variant, by variant.)

===============================

Here is my earlier short explanation of this history:

[TC-Alternate-list] juxtaposition of the Byzantine (Majority) Greek and the Received Text models
Steven Avery - June 12, 2011
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/TC-Alternate-list/conversations/messages/4256

"The irony here is that this one-dimensional aspect of the Byzantine Priority position is precisely what is addressed in the scholarship of the Reformation Bible, the superb handiwork of Desiderius Erasmus & Robert ?tienne (Stephanus) & Theodore Beza. Many minority Byzantine witnesses were adopted into the text, based on other powerful evidences (including internal evidences...). The simple textbook case would be the inclusion of Acts 8:37, where Irenaeus and Cyprian and internal considerations powerfully support the Latin and minority Greek evidences."
===============================

Development of Terms

Earlier, at times, the Received Text was considered the Majority Text, since for the most part the Greek majority variants are followed.
You can see this in the Interpreter's Bible of 1951 which says:

"this majority text (from which the King James Version was translated)"
Today, however, the mix of the two terms, as done e.g. by the Dean Burgon Society, is better avoided. T
he beginning of the modern use of the term "Majority Text" as referring to the Greek mss tradition and text was in the 1970s. This involved both the development of a Majority Text by Zane Hodges and Arthur Farsted, negative counterpoint by men like Gordon Fee, and Kurt Aland's attempt to use this as one of his dismissal terms for the mass of manuscripts to be virtually ignored in textual studies.

You can even see the mix of phrasing from scholars like Gordon Fee. Here in 1978 we have his rather dumb comment:

Modern Textual Criticism and the Revival of the Textus Receptus (1978)
Gordon Fee
http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/21/21-1/21-1-pp019-033_JETS.pdf

"the methodological proposal ... that all textual choices be made on the basis of internal probabilities alone.... The other alternative is that all textual choices should be made on the basis of external evidence alone—and in this case on the basis of the Byzantine MSS (or majority text). What this amounts to is the elimination of "textual choices" altogether and the wholesale adoption of the Textus Receptus (TR)...."
First, the Majority Text and the Textus Receptus wrongly used synonymously by Fee (this occurs less frequently today). More significantly, it was not understood by Gordon Fee that the Received Text itself does represent the application of an excellent, eclectic textual theory and approach. Thus, it is totally wrong of Fee to claim that the developers of the TR used "external evidence alone". Similarly, is totally wrong to say that they used only "the Byzantine MSS" for the external evidences. See the group of criteria they actually used above.

Another reality difference is simply that the TR endeavor had been (according to full proponents :)) providentially guided and successfully (understood by all) ...completed!
Es suficiente, es majestuosa.

===============================

Greek Orthodox accept Reformation Bible corrections

The superiority of the Received Text was so clear that even the Greek Orthodox traditions (these churches range over a wide area of Eastern Europe, Northern Africa and Asia, thus the Russian Orthodox would utilize Greek mss) had accepted some of the most important Reformation Bible corrections (e.g. heavenly witnesses, Acts 8:37, Luke 2:22) into their published texts and commentaries. In a sense the earlier Greek text, the manuscripts before the Reformation Bible on which the Majority Text is based, represents a type of Ecclesiastical Text, one that is without a current ecclesia.

===============================

Greek Majority as a "Third-Way" Movement


The revival of interest in the Greek "Majority" text in textual studies came forth out of a type of third way interest. There were many textual scholars who knew of the abject corruption of the Vaticanus-primacy hortian Critical Text that had been embraced. Yet, modern textual theory had tons of agitprop about how bad is the Received Text, very little understanding of its development (think Erasmus and a handful of late manuscripts as their description, not even mentioning the Latin, the ECW, etc) and thus a built-in animus had developed.

The griesbachian-hortian animus against the pure Reformation Bible had so much infected the textual studies realm that a new way was sought to counter the hortian textual cancer of Vaticanus-primacy, reliance on a couple of ultra-corrupt texts. (Which included the hortian emphasis on only the Greek mss, while choosing the corrupted ultra-minority Alexandrian mss.)

Thus, various new Greek text approaches were developed as the "third way", especially starting in the late 1970s. (The first attempt was Hodges-Farsted. Later came Robinson-Pierpont. And Wilbur Pickering developed similar textual ideas.) This way the Received Text and the AV could still be considered the enemy, (e.g. "fideistic") while in fact generally accepting much of the truth that the pure Received Text represented against the hortian text corruptions.

===============================

Received Text Superiority over the Majority Text

All you have to do is look at the details involving Acts 8:37

Acts 8:37

And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.
And he answered and said,
I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

(and the sister verse the heavenly witnesses and 1 John 2:23b) to understand why the Received Text is the far superior text. Oftentimes the Greek line had been corrupted, while the original text was maintained in other evidences, including the Old Latin and Vulgate lines. These are areas where the "western text" (in modern textual parlance, with or without specific Greek mss) retained the pure Bible reading, while the Greek Byzantine manuscripts were corrupted, often simply by omissions.

Both texts, the Received Text and the Majority Text can agree, however, in the disaster in the text produced by the hortian apostasy, leading to the Critical Text behind the modern versions. So at times they can speak in one voice.

And when "Majority Text" proponents do excellent work (e.g. Maurice Robinson on the Mark ending and the Pericope Adultera and the Greek transmissional stream) this can be acknowledged, appreciated and utilized by TR-AV proponents.

===============================
 
Last edited:

Steven Avery

Administrator
Cornwall, Forster and McGrath on the Received Text

Here is the next part, three helpful quotes (maybe a couple could be added, eg. from Hills) This may help the reader understand the excellence, place and proper providential imperative aspect of the Received Text:

==============

Nathaniel Ellsworth Cornwall (1812-1879)

Church Review - The genuineness of I. John, v. 7 proved by neglected witnesses - (1877)
http://books.google.com/books?id=qQcrAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA509
.
Thorough scholars recognize the fact, that every Latin Version made before the era of printing, and having a diction of its own distinct from that of other Latin versions, implies the existence of a Greek manuscript from which that translation was made. When this fact is duly regarded by all whom it concerns a vast advance will be made toward the true and safe decision of this long controversy, by a thorough comparison and combination of "the Greek evidence" and "the Latin evidence" from all sources, not as two kinds of testimony having rival or unequal claims to attention and regard, but strictly co-equal wherever they can be traced as contemporaneous.
.
Both alike records, in ancient manuscripts, of readings received when those manuscripts, the Latin as well as the Greek, were penned; two living streams of Holy Truth and cherished knowledge of that truth ; there flowing in their own proper channels as distinct tributaries for the diffusion of revealed wisdom among the nations; here intermingled, rolling on with all their affluence of sacred learning above the ruins of the old philosophy, both Greek and Latin.
==============

Charles Forster (1787-1871) writing to Christopher Wordsworth

A new plea for the authenticity of the text of the three heavenly witness or, Porson's letters to Travis eclectically examined and the external and internal evidences for 1 John V, 7 eclectically re-surveyed (1867)
http://books.google.com/books?id=yXIsAAAAYAAJ
from the Preface (emphasis added)

" ... there is a still graver error which affects not only the disputed verse, but the whole of Dr. Wordsworth's very learned, and very elaborate, edition of the Greek Testament; the admission, namely, of a false first principle of Scripture criticism. This false principle is, the rejection of a common Textus Receptus ; and the assumption, by each individual editor, of the right to set up his own text: in other words, to impose his own textus receptus upon the whole Christian world. For, disguise it to themselves and others as men may, the practice now arraigned comes simply to this. In St. Paul's words, 'every man hath an interpretation;' and each successive editor would, if he could, force his own critical text as the standard text to be 'known and read of all men.' ... I desire here to enter my solemn protest against a false principle of editorship, which makes every man, at once, the manufacturer of his own Bible, and the dictator of that Bible as the standard for all others.... Now, as the rejection of the Textus Receptus is the sole cause of the evil, so the restoration of the Textus Receptus is its only remedy." (pp. ix-xiii.)
==============

Gavin Basil McGrath (b. 1960)

A Textual Commentary on the Greek Received Text of the New Testament (2008)
http://www.easy.com.au/~gmbooks/pdfs/1net1.pdf

There are two rules of neo-Byzantine textual analysis, found in two maxims, of relevance here. The master maxim is. The Greek improves the Latin; and the servant maxim is. The Latin improves the Greek. I.e., we neo-Byzantines always start with the representative Byzantine Greek text, which is maintained unless there is a clear and obvious textual problem with it, for The Greek improves the Latin. However, if it is clear that a textual problem in the Byzantine Greek can be remedied by a reconstruction of the Greek from the Latin, then the Latin reading may be adopted, for in such a context. The Latin improves the Greek. But in all this textual analysis, it is the Greek that is our primary focus, and the Latin is only brought in to assist what is an evident textual problem in the Greek, and only adopted if it resolves this Greek textual problem. Thus the lesser maxim. The Latin improves the Greek, is always subject to the overriding greater maxim. The Greek improves the Latin. (p. cxliv)

And so it was, that these gifted and learned men who composed our Received Text in the 16th and 17th centuries, and whose work represents a zenith of textual achievement in terms of producing an entire NT Received Text, not simply this or that verse as in former times, (the like of which shows up the neo-Alexandrian and Burgonite textual "scholars" to be truly second rate.) turned their learned eyes to the matter. And when these neo-Byzantines did so, seeking the guidance of God's good Spirit, the deficiency in the representative Greek Byzantine manuscripts was thus spotted and remedied. Thus I John 5:7.8 was restored to its rightful place in the Received Text, and came to be translated in the Authorized Version. Praise God! His "word" "endureth for ever" (I Peter 2:25). (p. cxlix)
==============

For those interested in examining the issues of the textual base (remember many have been to seminary and learned only Critical Text agitprop), it can be helpful to understand the Received Text and Authorized Version (an independent edition of the TR, per Edward Freer Hills) superiority and excellence. It can be the proper underpinning of acceptance of the majesty and purity and perfection of the Authorised Version.

==============

Psalm 119:140
Thy word is very pure:
therefore thy servant loveth it.

==============
 
Last edited:

Steven Avery

Administrator
Edward Freer Hills weighs in:

Brent Mahlen
https://www.facebook.com/groups/rec...comment_id=2150464031870635&comment_tracking={"tn":"R"}

King James Bible Defended
https://archive.org/details/TheKingJamesVersionDefended/page/n189

"Where, oh where, dear brother or sister, did you ever get the idea that it is up to you to decide which Bible version you will receive as God's holy Word. As long as you harbor this false notion, you are little better than an unbeliever. As long as you cherish this erroneous opinion, you are entirely on your own. For you the Bible has no real authority, only that which your rebellious reason deigns to give it. For you there is no comfort no assurance of faith. Cast off, therefore, this carnal mind that leads to death! Put on the spiritual mind that leads to life and peace! Receive by faith the True Text of God's holy Word, which has been preserved down through the ages by His special providence and now is found in the Masoretic Hebrew text, the Greek Textus Receptus, and the King James Version and other faithful translations!" EF Hills
 
Last edited:

Steven Avery

Administrator
Lectures on Bible revision, with an appendix containing the prefaces to the chief historical editions of the English Bible (1881)
Samuel Newth
https://books.google.com/books?id=IpsCAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA90

Samuel Newth -

==========================
NOT IN CARM DIFFERENT
THESE CAN BE CHECKED

1 Peter 3:20

Matthew 6:13 Matthew 17:21 - Mark 15:28 Luke 11:2 (last clause), 11:4 (last clause ) John 5:3 John 5:4 Acts 15:23 Acts 28:29 Romans 9:6 (last clause) 1 Corinthians 5:29 (last clause) 1 Corinthians 10:28 (last clause) Galatians 3:1 (second clause)

minor
Revelation 2:20

==========================

Already covered

heavenly witnesses
Matthew 23:35b
Acts 8:37
Hebrews 12:20

Acts 9:5 9:6
Hebrews 11:13


1663106403355.png
 
Last edited:

Steven Avery

Administrator
Facebook - King James Bible Debate
https://www.facebook.com/groups/21209666692/posts/10155626986166693/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/212...ZVD3vN0zKIhdcFBGYvGIQ1s6BQBJj8E4&__tn__=<,P-R
Peter Heisey


The following, from Steven Avery, is so applicable on so many levels and in so many situations, that I thought it wise to share it here.
The Majority and Byzantine proponents, who have a one-dimensional nothing idea of the pure Bible (simply count Greek manuscripts, and only look at other stuff for tie-breakers, if you don't make some arbitrary threshold.) are always looking for hooks and ladders to politic and posture against the vastly superior Reformation Bible text.

This way they can pretend to be anti-fideistic when addressing the corruption text proponents, who generally despise the idea that faith and the Bible text are related concepts.

And note the absurd anachronism. The Reformation Bible, as explained above, came to play 400 years before there were any "Majority Text" proponents. Erasmus, Stephanus, Beza and the learned men of the AV were not using "Majority text arguments", they were simply properly discerning the full gamut of evidences, Greek manuscripts, Latin manuscripts, early church writers, and a whole bunch of consistency, stylistic and authorial considerations. And God's hand providentially placed the Bible pure in the hands of the plow man, and even the scholars (if they would have it.)

AV defenders should point out that horrid deformities in the "Majority Text", like the lack of Acts 8:37, the heavenly witnesses and 1 John 2:23b. In fact, the Greek Orthodox were smart enough to take some major Reformation Bible corrections of the Greek text.
And we should teach them elementary logic, the pure Reformation Bible came 400 years before this Majority.Text one-dimensional silliness. We are not using their arguments, they are using our position, after viscerating many of the most powerful and important Reformation Bible verses and words.

Ironically, we get falsely accused all the time of nose-counting (manuscripts are weighed, not counted) and the only nose-counting methodology is the Majority text stuff. They get a pass on that because they are united with the corruption version people in opposition to the pure AV.

Sure, their text is a lot better than the Westcott-Hort corruption versions, but it is just a shell of the pure Reformation Bible and AV texts.
====================

Peter Heisey
Author
Admin
Now as for "fideism" .....
THE PROBLEM OF CIRCULAR REASONING AND THE CHARGE OF FIDEISM
By James Grier
The internal evidence ought to be presented unashamedly from the starting point of the Bible [the KJB – POH] as God's authoritative word/words. It ought to be presented with the force of an absolute demand and with the prayer that God the Holy Spirit will open the blind eyes of the hearer so that he will see the overwhelming evidence and bow in repentance and faith. In his natural state the unregenerate man suppresses every aspect of God's natural and special revelation. The evidence in him, around him, and in scripture is sufficient and final. There is no weakness in the evidence. The problem is that man cannot see. He doesn't need more evidence; he needs the new birth. The living, abiding Word and words of God as self-attestingly sure, blessed by the regenerating activity of the Holy Spirit, is his only hope.6
Rational-empiricists have asserted that to accept the Bible as true based on its own witness is to reason in a circle and thus remove Christianity from the arena of intellectual credibility. Pinnock boldly asserts that the position of self-witness is nothing but fideism and puts it in the camp of neo-orthodoxy and mysticism.7
{6 Robert Reymond, The Justification of Knowledge (Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1976) 16. 7 Pinnock, Biblical Revelation, 42-44. For a careful refutation of Pinnock’s charges, see G. Bahnsen, “Inductivism, Inerrancy and Presuppositionalism.” JETS 20 (1977) 289-305.}
The immediate point to be noted is that the argument has dealt with the objective content of revelation and not with subjective religious experience (as is the case with mysticism and Neo-orthodoxy). The appeal to scripture to validate the authority of scripture is an appeal to an objective content that is God-breathed [that “is given by inspiration of God” – POH]. Is it question begging? [No.]
Presuppositions are universal. [cf. Matthew 12:30]
Every system has a self referential starting point that cannot be validated by an authority [cf. Mt. 12:30]. This starting point will have metaphysical implications as well as ethical implications. In the case of what is called pure empiricism, the assumption is that what can be known by man must originate in sensory or demonstrable experience. All the generalities of knowledge are inductive inferences from the plurality of sense experience. This self referential epistemological authority implies that values have no objective referent.
The point is obvious! All epistemological authorities start with linguistic assertions that are self referential. From these starting points a circular world-life view is developed by all. Multiple views vie for men's allegiance. Man in his rebellion against God does not agree on one system, but has multiple alternatives. All of his systems share one thing in common - that the claims of God in the Bible cannot be true, or that God’s word, the Bible is not true in its entirety. Agreement extends to the ultimacy of man and his capacities as the only tolerable starting point and determiner for knowledge. Ultimate authorities, outside of the Bible – God’s word – cannot be validated by appeals to other authorities, for then ultimacy is obviously lost. Sinful man, with his sinful desire for autonomous ultimacy, himself reasons in a vicious circle, the result of which is his own intellectual and moral suicide.
A non-vicious circle
"In the beginning, God ... " (Gen 1:1). "God created man" (Gen 1:27). The ultimacy of the being of God necessitates that man's being is derived and dependent on God. No matter what he says or does, man is God's creature and is accessible to God. God has, by wise council and deliberation, foreordained all things that come to pass. He has revealed himself and his plan in a once-for-all, prophetic-apostolic revelation that he breathed out [which “is given by inspiration of God” – POH]. God has exhaustive knowledge of himself and his plan, and thus his revelation is the basis for knowing in his created world. Man is God's creature and is dependent on God for knowledge through his self revelation. The evidence for the truth of God's revelation is internal to the revelation and is adapted to man in language form. The right response of the creature is to believe and obey this revelation with thanksgiving. Sin has blinded the eyes of the creature. The gentle grace of the Holy Spirit opens his eyes to the light of God's revelation and he steps into the circle of truth. Knowledge can now be justified on the basis of the self revealing God. Regenerate man can now explicate all the internal evidence of scripture as his authority and confront the unbeliever with the living Word and the living words of the living God.
- Sola Scriptura –
- C. Van Til, The Protestant Doctrine of Scripture (n.p.: den Dulk Christian Foundation, 1967)

Peter Heisey
Author
Admin
Furthermore: ....
THE FAITH ELEMENT IN THE KJB DEBATE
DrElisha Weismann King James Bible
Dr James Ach Response to KJV Critic
Jovert made an observation that is to me one of the most logical and brutal critiques of the anti KVJO position that in nearly 30 years of studying manuscripts I never thought of. If the KJVO critics are CERTAIN that the KJV has "errors", or that it is not absolutely correct, then there must be an absolute standard in which to compare such errors to. But yet these same critics also criticize the underlying texts of the KJV and frankly ALL modern versions and claim that there are no absolute reliable manuscripts or texts that are perfectly preserved without error. If therefore there is no certainty about the underlying manuscripts, it is illogical and self-defeating to claim for certain that there are errors in the KJV.
Now of course the critics will throw that right back in our faces by claiming that works both ways. Actually, no it doesn't, because we don't begin with the premise that there are mistakes. Yes, there is an element of faith involved, but isn't that what is required of believers in the first place? How many here have actually SEEN ANY manuscripts? Not pictures of them, not what someone wrote about them, but actually SEEN THE REAL THING? When the KJV translators were faced with the issue of 1 John 2:23, they did not have that verse in any of their manuscripts, but included it in italics. The verse was later found in it's entirety and validated the usage of the translators rendering. James White criticizes the lack of Greek evidence for "King of saints" in Revelation 15:3 before it was included in Stephanus and Beza's Greek texts. Yet several early church writers quoted "King of saints" (Victorinus-Pettau, AD 270, Tyconius AD 370, Apringius AD 635, , Cassiodorus AD 485) so OBVIOUSLY there were Greek and Latin texts that support this before Stephanus, Erasmus or Beza's texts were made.
KJV critics are no different than the atheists who tell you to PROVE the existence of God by the rules of science (or “logic”) that prevent any kind of evidence that would hint at faith to believe it. The Creationist does not rely on blind faith to believe in the existence of God anymore than a KJV believer does in the assurance that the KJV is the pure, perfect, preserved, inspired word(s) of God. It is the KJV critic that lacks any assurance that there is ANY absolute standard in ANY language, and it is the KJV critics that use "false balances and divers measures" to slander the Bible based on humanistic forms of textual criticism developed by Catholic humanistic Mary worshiping heretics that sought (and continue to seek) the destruction of faith in ANY Bible that is not conveyed to them through the authority of some man, including the papacy.

Peter Heisey
Author
Admin
Any Fault in Fideism?
By Kent Brandenburg
In the very last paragraph, in the next to last sentence of our book Thou Shalt Keep Them, I write: "The only Scriptural approach to the doctrine of the preservation of Scripture is the fideistic approach." I like the sound of fideistic versus evidentialistic or rationalistic, don't you? And yet, that seems to be the big problem in the critiques of Thou Shalt Keep Them. Michael Sproul on p. 340 of his book, God's Word Preserved, uses the terminology, "fideistic existentialism" (terms when googled together appeared one time), and on p. 380, Keith Gephart writes, "Strouse's position is based upon pure 'fideism.'" Then recently I read an article on presuppositional apologetics (what I believe) on Sharper Iron, that says, "How do we go about doing apologetics, defending Christianity, without . . . leaping into irrational fideism?" I don't know if the author meant that all fideism is irrational or that this is a particular type of fideism that is irrational. Most say that varying degrees of fideism (and here and here) exist, meaning that fideism is sometimes rational, not a leap in the dark. Our brand of fideism, what we call, well, [biblical] fideism, is not bereft of rationale or logic.
We have heaps of evidence, historical and tangible, for the preservation of scripture, including thousands of old manuscripts and readings. Comparably, we have very little evidence for the original canonicity of scripture, and yet we believe we have the correct sixty-six books of the Bible. We get our position on the preservation of the words of God from scripture itself (i.e., presuppositional apologetics), like those who wrote the London Baptist Confession (1677) of faith – "The Old Testament in Hebrew, (which was the Native language of the people of God of old) and the New Testament in Greek (which at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the Nations) being immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and Providence kept pure in all Ages, are therefore authentical."
Is fideism bad? American Heritage Dictionary says that fideism is "reliance on faith alone rather than scientific reasoning or philosophy in questions of religion." I like that. [Romans 14:23; 2 Corinthians 5:7] On the other hand, here is the definition of "strict rationalism": "a type of reasoning which holds that in order for a belief system to be properly and rationally accepted, it must be possible to prove that the belief system is true (*)." I don't like that. Scott Moore at Baylor, with nothing to gain by bashing fideism, says that "fideism affirms the priority of faith (fides) over reason." That sounds good. Even Vladmiir Lenin said, "Contemporary fideism does not at all reject science, all it rejects is the 'exaggerated claims' of science, to wit, its claim to objective truth. If objective truth exists (as the materialists think), if natural science, reflecting the outer world in human 'experience,' is alone capable of giving us objective truth, then all fideism is absolutely refuted" (Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, Vol. XIII, p. 102). He didn't like it. Norman Geisler writes in Christian Apologetics (p. 56), "Fideism is not limited to nonevangelicals. Cornelius Van Til speaks from a strong Reformed, Biblical perspective theologically and yet in an absolute revelational presuppositionalism apologetically. As we shall see, this position may be viewed as methodological fideism." J. P. Moreland writes, I believe rightly, "Some version of fideism is the correct way to view faith at least in the sense that scientific reason or evidence cannot support or count against properly formed theological propositions" (here).
The Roman Catholics opposed and oppose it. This is one of the peculiarities of the Sproul critique of Thou Shalt Keep Them. He repeatedly attacked the book as Roman Catholic and as fideistic. Pope John Paul II in his Fides Et Ratio warned against "a resurgence of fideism, which fails to recognize the importance of rational knowledge and philosophical discourse for the understanding of faith, indeed for the very possibility of belief in God." Our book would be the rare, actually entirely unique, fideistic book that Catholics could approve (if what Sproul says is true). Sproul and John Paul II come together in opposition to fideism. Not good company. And I'm just the reporter, brethren.









Peter Heisey
Author
Admin
 
Top