Why Won’t the Standard Sacred Text Argument Go Away?

The Plot to Kill God is an excellent accounting of the Soviet Union’s attempt to stamp out belief in God. Through a concerted effort and brutal tactics, Russian Communism did its best to intimidate, imprison, and kill all those that believed in God and specifically the religious leaders making such a profession. Yet, in the end, the data show that total Russian efforts amounted to a religious state equal to that of the USA. In short, the plot to kill God in the hearts and minds of people failed. The takeaway is that there are some beliefs which are part and parcel of what it is to be human. Humans are religious. The universe is too big and too beautiful, and humanity is essentially religious. They must believe in God. it is in their nature and on this point, man’s nature will not be undone.

In like manner I would like to submit to you that belief in a standard sacred text is essential to Christian belief. It cannot be beaten out of him. Indeed, it may be lulled out of him and only when he is distracted. Consider the following. While we would not agree on the decision of the particular text it is clear that the church broadly construed has held to a standard sacred text across the board.

The Roman Catholics regarded the Latin Vulgate as their standard sacred text as late as the mid-1500’s. As noted in this post, Richard Muller observes that the TR was indeed the Greek to which the Reformers appealed when arguing with Rome about their Vulgate. The KJV has remained the standard sacred text for a large portion of the English-speaking church for over 400 years. Then comes the Post-Modern era in which we get the inimitable [Anglican] Dean Burgon’s Traditional Text position which calls for a standard sacred text in the TR and KJV. Then [Presbyterian] Edward F. Hills’ Argument for the same. Then [Lutheran] Theodore Letis’ arguments for the Ecclesiastical Text which again argues for a standard sacred text. Now we have the Confessional Text position as propounded by Jeff Riddle [Reformed Baptist] and our work here at StandardSacredText.com [Baptist/Reformed Baptist].

But just as the Reformer’s opponents, the Roman Catholic apologists, claimed a standard sacred text in the Latin Vulgate so also our opponents in the current era make the same claims. Thus, we get from the CT/MVO camp the English Standard Version, the Christian Standard Version, the New American Standard Version, the Legacy Standard Version, the American Standard Version, the Revised Standard Version, the New Revised Standard Version, and the International Standard Version.

In sum, the standard sacred text argument is not a Van Kleeck argument or a KJVO argument. Everyone desires a standard sacred text, and many claim their text is standard and sacred. The Catholics have claimed it. The Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmaticians claimed it. Post-Enlightenment conservative Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Reformed Baptists, and Baptists claimed it. We here at StandardSacredText.com claim it. Even those who oppose our position claim it with their Christian Standard Bible and English Standard Bible. All of these positions claim a text that is sacred and standard. Why?

Because belief in a standard sacred text is part and parcel with being Christian. As such the Standard Sacred Text position will no sooner die for the Christian than belief in the existence of God will for fallen man. Christians can help but believe in a standard sacred text. It is in their nature and on this point, the Christian’s nature will not be undone.

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