Over the weekend I had a couple interesting experiences. On Saturday I spent over 3 hours watching this debate between a real and properly defined KJVO advocate and Nate Cravatt co-host of The Recovering Fundamentalist podcast and MVO advocate.
Observation 1: Cravatt was wholly incapable of appreciating the reality that beliefs can be properly basic and held in a rational and warranted way while at the same time recognizing a bad argument in attempt to demonstrate that properly basic belief.
Observation 2: Anyone who equates the Traditional Text position or the Ecclesiastical Text position or the Confessional Text position or the Standard Sacred Text position to the KJVO position as evidenced in the linked video above is simply and clearly ignorant or maliciously mischaracterizing the above positions. Such attempts to equate our position with KJVO represents a profound lack of charity and academic acumen.
Incidentally, before my readers start sweating the different names of the above positions I would contend that all the position above hold to the same tenets but have particular foci. It is all the same position with different points of emphasis.
Then on Sunday I had the opportunity to observe the baptism of an infant and hear a pastor preach an hour sermon from the ESV. Both practices I disagree with but nevertheless find it interesting and helpful to observe those with whom I disagree.
Having experiencing these two things over the weekend I came to several observations:
Assuming the different versions of the English Bible are close enough [which is a large concession given yesterday’s sermon. His text read “weakness” mine read “infirmity” because they mean the same…riiight???] and that a lost person can be saved out of them, the following still remain significant problems which the CT/MVO position has yet to remotely begin to answer.
1.) The fact is, and Mark Ward’s Which TR totally misses this point, when comparing the KJV and modern versions there are major sections in the other versions which are omitted, bracketed, or openly doubted in the text. We find this behavior both in the printing and asserting of such things to be exegetically and theologically untenable.
2.) The modern versions regularly flatten the metaphorical/analogical language used in the KJV and as such the modern versions are less precise and beautiful.
3.) The multiplicity of English-versions does not comport in any way with the language of the unity of the Church or unity in Christ found in the Scriptures.
4.) It seems to us that the multiplicity of versions is predicated on a love for money. The printing of the Bible and all subsequent commentaries and study helps is good for business. If it is wrong to make merchandise of God’s people (2 Peter 2:3) then it is seems wrong to make merchandise of God’s words.
5.) The current CT/MVO position has rejected its history as grounded in the Church and particularly the Reformation Church as it came out of the superstition of the Middle Ages. In a word, the current CT/MVO position is transient homeless position and is thought to be virtuous for it.
6.) If all the versions are basically the same then a call for one should be hardly controversial. But it is controversial. We are the one’s calling for one and it is the CT/MVO position that insists on the splintering of the text into as many sufficiently reliable versions that content our hearts. This is definition of schismatic.
7.) Our Greek and Hebrew texts differ in multitudes of places. Our foundations are different. If we are off by an inch at the beginning we will be off by a mile at the end.
8.) Our methodology is different. The CT/MVO position has little place for the Church’s input while running their methodology primarily and almost exclusively from academic sectors. Our methodology on the other hand grants the use and means of textual criticism but places its deliverances thereof under the authority of the Holy Spirit moving through His words in His people, the Church.
9.) The current CT/MVO position offers little or no exegetical, theological, or philosophical foundation for why they think themselves good and righteous in treating the Bible the way they do. We on the other hand treat the Bible the way we do because the Bible speaks of itself as one from one God to one Church for one salvation toward one Kingdom. No where in Scripture is the Christian called to doubt the content of Scripture or bracket the content of Scripture and certainly not to omit or add to the content of Scripture.
My point is, even if we admit that the TR and the CT are close in content or the KJV and the modern versions are close in content (which for us are problems in themselves), there still remains a series of other issues which reach far beyond a variant here or there.
Our resistance to the CT/MVO position is not merely textual but also methodological, philosophical, theological, exegetical, apologetic, socio-cultural, ecclesiastical, economic, and historical.
When a CT/MVO advocate claims that “weakness” is the same or close enough to “infirmity” we are not so truncated in our assessment as to merely attend to the textual apparatus. For us such claims could just as easily have methodological, philosophical, theological, exegetical, apologetic, socio-cultural, ecclesiastical, economic, and historical motivators which are neither objective nor right. And while we are at it, in many places we reject the CT/MVO assessment of the textual evidence as well.