This is the third and last installment of the “The unquantifiability of the historic canonical collating process” series. This post argues for the traditional Protestant orthodox understanding of Matthew 5:18 based on Isaiah 59:21 and scientific support for the traditional orthodox rendering.
Supposition: The last received iteration of Matt. 5:18 is accepted as being historically defensible based upon the self-authentication of the inspired words, the leading of the Holy Spirit, and the submission of the Church to the prior and last iteration of the unquantifiable collated canon.
Answer 1: Like all the preceding iterations it is defensible as the collation of inspired canonical words up to that point in history. For example, Aleph and B, Westcott and Hort’s so-called “neutral texts” were prior iterations of texts containing inspired canonical words as far as the collation of canonical words existed to that point in history (4th c.) but failed to be the last canonical iteration as received by the Church.
Answer 2: As stated before, prior iterations confirm the canonical product of the historically unquantifiable collating process of Matthew 5:18. Aleph and B are near or at the beginning of the “initial” text premise because, except for papyrus fragments, there is a three-century textual void between the autographa and Aleph and B again demonstrating the unquantifiability of the historic canonical collating process of inspired words. The transmission of inspired words to the 3rd century is scientifically unquantifiable. See Wasserman and Gurry, A New Approach, 12: “From this definition its follows that the initial text may refer to the author’s text or to something later.”
Answer 3: Textual criticism therefore argues indirectly, but positively for the truth content of Matthew 5:18 finding value in prior iterations, like Aleph and B, of the canonical collating process by appealing to an unquantifiable historical canonical collating process. In the historical critical method’s failure and subsequent nuanced CBGM methodology, the scientific method confirms both negatively and positively the unquantifiability of the truth content of Matthew 5:18.
Answer 4: To reject the inspired canonical product proven to be such by the historically unquantifiable process is to deny the eschatological trajectory of Matthew 5:18 of the historically unquantifiable process of collating the totality of the inspired canonical words. This collation process, in that its end point is only inspired words, has a winnowing effect upon the historically unquantifiable canonical process. Only certain words in a text belong in the inspired canon, those determined by the historically unquantifiable process. To reject the last iteration of the inspired canonical product and revert to an iteration of the historically unquantifiable process would be to deny the very purpose of the canonical collating process, the hypothetical trajectory of the historical critical method.
Answer 5: Therefore, until such a time that the unquantifiable canonical collating process again begins, which is uncertain being unquantifiable, the last received iteration stands as Canon, the historical demonstration of Matthew 5:18, the Greek Received Text and traditional Masoretic Hebrew. There is the revival of prior iterations of the canon, but there is only one Canon of Scripture.
Summary: Matthew 5:18, therefore, has been, and continues to be, historically accurate. Not one jot or tittle has passed from the law,” and speaking of the “law” synecdochically, it applies to the entire Canon. Moreover, it is impossible to say that Matthew 5:18 is false in that the Church possesses the last, received iteration of the Greek and Hebrew text in the Received Text and traditional Masoretic texts through an unquantified historical canonical collation process of inspired words. The last, received iteration is no more indefensible than any of the preceding iterations as far as the collation of the canon existed to that point in history, e.g., Aleph and B or the “initial text.” The notion of the passage being indefensible is contrary to the historic canonical development of each preceding iteration’s testimony to the truth of Matthew 5:18. Indeed, the textual critical return to prior iterations of the unqualified canonical collating process demonstrates significant support for the last iteration of the canonical collating process, the Canon, the Received Text, and Traditional Masoretic Hebrew, the original language apographa underlying the English Standard Sacred Text, the King James Version. Just read any new version; they sound like a prior, stilted, incomplete iteration of King James Bible. Blessings!