Thursday, September 17, 2015

on Working with a Textual Tradition

    My last post was about how proponents of a certain textual tradition of the Bible don't have any meaningful answers if confronted with questions in a public debate setting. So I have agreed that this particular view of how textual criticism should be done is shortsighted. Those who identify with the Reformed Confessions, take this ecclesiastical text position as a sort of QIRC that one fellow confessor from California had pointed out in his book years ago. This quest to narrow the field of textual critical studies is an example of how our modern folk deal with those who would promote a different tradition than that of which they are used to.

    So, in sum, we could point to the use of I John 5:7 in the catechisms and, therefore, conclude that John wrote down this verse for the church. The above argument, however, does not consider the history of textual transmission because it takes the outcome of a council in ways that they themselves have not intended their work to be taken. In other words, those who would claim that a council had determined the textual critical methods of investigating the original readings of the Bible would not be able to be critical of their own textual tradition. So they would accept the Comma Johanneum without question.

    If the proponents of the ecclesiastical text take issue with this analysis of their position, then they would have to engage with the textual sources the Westminster divines had used. Then the question becomes one of relevancy, since modern textual critics don't accept their position on textual critical methods. They are happy with text that the church had handed down to them and, perhaps, that is what they want to have.

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