When a Non-Standard is Held as the Standard

The advocates of a Stand Sacred Text (SST) are held to a level of consistency unknown to the formulators of the Critical Text (CT). The comparison is the difference between a document that claims to be from God, which is inherently absolute in its declarations–pure, infallible, inspired, preserved — and a document that is inherently relative based upon claims that are various measures of a subjective human enterprise. The first, to be consistent, is held to an absolute standard for truth, while the later, also to be consistent, is not a standard for anything. In a transcendentless culture, absolutes are rejected uncritically, prima facia, while relative commodities fit the cultural milieu perfectly. The CT is of human design, so nothing exceptional is expected of the document because the CT is like every other human writing. Furthermore, the CT is not a standard for anything. Standards by definition are settled. Because nothing in the CT is settled it cannot be the measure of morality, spirituality, or theology. Moreover, the CT is inherently unfinished alleviating any pressure to bring about its completion. None of these three characteristics are allowed for the SST, which begs the question, “How can a humanly designed, non-standard for anything, incomplete document be made the standard for the rejection of anything including something absolute?” Minimally, the CT proponents should be agnostic when considering the SST, as they are with the CT, not knowing themselves what the CT or SST looks like. After all, maybe they passed over the final text in Westcott and Hort’s 1881 Greek NT and should have stopped there. Or perhaps Beza’s 1598 Greek text and the King James Version of the Bible are what the CT group has been looking for all this time and given another Renaissance and Reformation come to the conclusion they now reject? Only time will tell.

Published by Dr. Peter Van Kleeck, Sr.

Dr. Peter William Van Kleeck, Sr. : B.A., Grand Rapids Baptist College, 1986; M.A.R., Westminster Theological Seminary, 1990; Th.M., Calvin Theological Seminary, 1998; D. Min, Bob Jones University, 2013. Dr. Van Kleeck was formerly the Director of the Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, Grand Rapids, MI, (1990-1994) lecturing, researching and writing in the defense of the Masoretic Hebrew text, Greek Received Text and King James Bible. His published works include, "Fundamentalism’s Folly?: A Bible Version Debate Case Study" (Grand Rapids: Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, 1998); “We have seen the future and we are not in it,” Trinity Review, (Mar. 99); “Andrew Willet (1562-1621: Reformed Interpretation of Scripture,” The Banner of Truth, (Mar. 99); "A Primer for the Public Preaching of the Song of Songs" (Outskirts Press, 2015). Dr. Van Kleeck is the pastor of the Providence Baptist Church in Manassas, VA where he has ministered for the past twenty-one years. He is married to his wife of 43 years, Annette, and has three married sons, one daughter and eighteen grandchildren.

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