I came across this tweet a couple days ago and I thought that there is an interesting comparison to be made between the current academic authorities behind what counts as the New Testament and the current academic authorities behind public school curriculum. The latter is mentioned in the tweet below and the former follows.
For our current context the above tweet would go something like…
To be clear, “non-textual critic” is “layperson in the pew.”
Now read it again. Now read the KJV.
Non-textual critics repeat after me:
Just because I read the Bible doesn’t mean I know what the original says or get a say in what textual critics criticize.
Textual critics know what they are doing. They have many degrees in their respective fields. They make yearly comprehensive text-critical apparati. They are the experts.
You are not.
Perhaps you think me too harsh or that I have inappropriately commandeered this tweet. Before you decide to pull the lever on the Guillotine and dispatch me with my appropriated tweet, go start a debate with a text-critic on Twitter or Facebook over the story of the woman caught in adultery and see how long it takes them to flex their credentials, tell you that you don’t have all the data, or ignore you. And if the text-critic won’t address your question, then prepare to contend with a host of his acolytes. After that experience I think you will find that my requisitioned tweet is not far from the truth. In fact, you may find that I’ve struck the bullseye Robinhood style.
One thought on “Non-Textual Critic = Layperson”
Spot on. Peter Gurry often talks about those who are in the textual criticism “guild” and those who are not, and those who are not are not qualified to be part of the conversation on the Bible. I’d say Matthew 23 applies.
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