If the 4th century neutral text of Westcott and Hort or the 4th century initial text of Wasserman and Gurry have an unquantifiable link to the autographs, the 16th century Received Text may also be reasonably considered to possesses an unquantifiable link to the autographa through the apographa. Unquantifiable cannot be quantified by historical duration, which is of course relative to your place in history. It is a different duration epochally but of the same kind unquantifiably. If the Lord further delays his coming, in a millennium secular scholars will be calling the Received Text another iteration of the “initial” text. The vast difference is that the foundations of the critical text was rejected by the Church while the Received Text has been the ecclesiastical text since the early 16th century.
Indeed, Wasserman and Gurry’s CBGM and the “initial” text have given the critical text community something to ponder. If these men are correct in their assessment of data and the conclusion that only the initial not the original text of Scripture is scientifically discoverable, then, Westcott, Hort, Tregelles, Warfield, Wikgren, Martini, Black, Aland, Nestles, Metzger, et al., along with all their pliant evangelical and fundamentalist disciples, were fundamentally mistaken and the publishing and academic empire built upon this failed premise is constructed on thin air. With a schism in the critical tradition, which tradition of critical scholarship is now owed allegiance, the old school mainline textual critical search for the originals or the conspicuously truer to the historical critical method presentation of Wasserman and Gurry and the “initial” text?
The controversy then is between the ecclesiastical reception of an unquantifiable text and the two ideas of the critical unquantifiable text. It seems that the expressed purpose of reconstructing the originals was necessary to counter the Orthodox historical, exegetical, and theological argument of providential preservation through the apographa. It is logical to conclude that the façade was maintained because no one would accept the critical text if the critic acknowledged it could not reconstruct the autographs. Furthermore, to solidify the ruse, the textual critical discipline was performed by elite scholars writing in highly specialized and technical terminology. The entire method, however, was nothing more than a highly elaborate magic trick. They did not saw the lady in half, and after 150 years they did not reconstruct the autographa all the while like all magicians giving the impression that the impossible was actually being done. This magic trick has been so convincing that the Evangelical seminaries of America have taught this method as orthodoxy. “Yes,” seminary X tells the student, “they really are sawing the lady in half,” giving the impression that to reject this alternate reality is to be unscholarly.
How then should the evangelical and fundamental institutions of higher learning proceed? Like any change in trajectory, practical adjustments must be made. For example, stock the bookstore with Turretin, Whitaker, Owen, and Muller, and prepare lectures based on their writings. Already having a handle on the critical process, a robust series of apologetic lectures could be produced to show the rise and fall of the historical critical method and the strength of the Christian principium. To round out the return to a philosophical, exegetical, and theological grounding of the Doctrine of Scripture also make the Trinitarian Bible Societies Received Text available in the bookstore and require that the TR be used in language and NT theological courses.
The Church and Christian Academy are on the threshold of great strides for the sake of the Gospel if it will only admit that the critical path has run its course, no longer serves the church and academy as it might have once been thought to do and return to the Protestant orthodox theological bedrock of pre-critical exegesis and theology.