Riddle Responds to Ward’s Assessment of Psalm 12:6-7 Scholarly Literature

In episode three of the Textual Confidence Collective Mark Ward makes the following observation, “If the Spirit is going to guide us into all truth, I’m expecting that people in the history of the Church would, you know, largely be getting things like this right and I could not find anybody who used Psalm 12:7 and especially the second half of that ‘thou shalt preserve them form this generation forever’ I couldn’t find anybody in the history of the Church until King James Onlyism. I could be wrong though. I’m trying to find as many references as I can” [08:30].

And wrong he is. Dr. Van Kleeck Sr. has dealt with this extensively in his book, An Exegetical Grounding for a Standard Sacred Text. He has also dealt with it several times on this blog, here and here for example, but thanks to Dr. Riddle, the instruction continues.

In response to Wards claim that Psalm 12:7 wasn’t used regarding preservation until KJVO, Dr. Riddle has devoted Word Magazine #245 to helping Ward with some of his research. I mean, what are friends for? You can listen to Riddle’s response below. Blessings.

6 thoughts on “Riddle Responds to Ward’s Assessment of Psalm 12:6-7 Scholarly Literature

  1. The first responsibility of a “scholar” is to be familiar with the scholarly literature in his field of expertise. As a PhD student, the harshest rebuke would come from my advisor over my failure to be cognizant of the work of those before me, and to properly cite their work in my own papers. In this regard, Ward deserves such a rebuke. If he is portraying himself as a “scholar”, he is a poor one (all while accusing our side of being unscholarly).

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    1. Absolutely. This topic is very deep across multiple disciplines: theology, philosophy, linguistics, exegesis, and history. It seems to me that the Critical Text/Multiple Version Only position hangs out almost exclusively in the linguistic categories and history as it pertains to manuscripts and the context in which they were written. Ask them about theology and you get a paper here or there or a couple of pages in the back of a small book. Ask them about philosophy and particularly epistemology and you tend to get blank stares. Then when it comes to exegesis and the history of exegesis, well Ward’s treatment of Psalm 12:6-7 is evidence enough of how they operate in those fields.

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  2. Sorry for the long post, but I think you will like this. Is this “Christian Friend of the Truth” from 1824 (over 100 years ahead of Benjamin Wilkinson) a “Textual Absolutist”? He anathemizes those who would meddle with the good translation made in King James’s time, and uses Psalm 12:6-7 as a proof text concerning the Scriptures. Link below if you wish to look further at it (Too bad he is anonymous.)

    “I will here remark, that seeing the Scriptures have been translated into so many languages at sundry times, and that many improvements have been made in the translations till the last one, it follows that they had very superior means of acquiring the right sense of the words in comparison with so many preceding translations; and the last number of translators being many who were good and learned men, could consult each other in the best manner, and with all the previous labours of the learned; and thus be under a check by all the learned translations, and by the talents of each other; and therefore if any translation could be good, that was by them; from which consideration I must without any reserve aver that all who have been in any way forward to decry the translation as from them in King James’s time, have so far been guilty of undue reflection, and have only exposed themselves to the views of the biblical critic and divine as wanting to evade the true meaning of the divine words as they are, by stating to the ignorant that such words are in a wrong translation. The translation is on as good a basis as it need be, for the aforesaid reasons; nor is there any thing of any moment. wrong in it, which is as clear as it need be, upon the circumstances of the said translation; and it is therefore dangerous to meddle with that which has been well done, and that because it is a species of adding to or taking from the words of the Lord, which is anathematised Revelations of St. John, xxii. 19. We then have the continued words of the Lord as represented, and in a proper intelligent manner, so that all may read and know them.

    “I, in the fourth and last place, remark in further proof of the divine inspiration, and gift of the holy Scriptures to mankind, that they declare the same by their pure or holy kind…and as the Scriptures have in their very nature all pure and good to mankind and the divine Being, they have come from the source of good in order to be good and holy; and as there is only one source of good and holiness, who is God, then they must have come from him primarily, by his operations and teachings to good men, as aforesaid), and from them to all who have or may see or hear them; and thus as pure gold came from the same kind of mine; as pure diamonds came from its kind of stone; as the pure rays of the illuminating sun come from the same, and are the same sort of light and heat, or kind; or as the voice in words is as the thoughts of the mind, so the divine words came from, and are as the eternal mind towards his creatures, pare and holy, and therefore just and right in all they say and do in every respect, Psalm xii. 6,7; and St. Paul’s second Epistle to Timothy, iii. 15, 16, 17.

    “Nor is it possible that the divine word or the Scriptures could have any cause but God, seeing they uniformly evince and produce all that is in any way proper or righteous; yea, as impossible is it as to prove that any object produced can in the production be different from that of which it is produced, without any change therefrom.”

    The Theological Reasoner, or, The mysteries of Divinity Explained, by a Christian Friend to Truth, Liverpool: J. Hodgson, 1824, pp. 94-97

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    1. Here’s another, from Englishman Robert Brown in 1890. In context he is talking about scriptures, and uses Psalm 12:6-7 as a proof-text re the scriptures.

      “Need I make any comment on these passages? [i.e., the 6 passages of Scripture he is discussing, rlv] Surely they assert themselves: for ‘the words of Jehovah are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Jehovah, Thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.’1 For ‘the law,’ or ‘doctrine’ (margin), ‘of Jehovah is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of Jehovah is sure, making wise the simple.’2
      “1 Psalm xii. 6, 7.
      “2 Psalm xix. 7.”

      From “Outlines of Prophetic Truth,” Robert Brown (of Barton-upon-Humber), London: S. W. Partridge and Co., 1890, pp. 155-56

      I believe this is Robert Brown (1820-1905), who was a solicitor and author of religious writings, and lived at Scarborough and Barton-upon-Humber. I have not found any source that connects him directly to this work, but the circumstantial evidence seems strong. According to his obituary, he was a “staunch Protestant” and “a conscientious Churchman.” “Few men studied the Bible as did Mr. Brown, and he published several tracts and books explaining many of its teachings. He held religious services in what was then the Temperance Hall, and for some years he was treasurer of the Bible Society…Quite recently he presented to the Barton Literary Institute a complete set of his published works.” Daily Mail, December 14, 1905

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    2. And another, in a funeral sermon by Separatist minister Thomas Moore, Jr. In context, and regarding other proof-texts he gives in addition to Psalm 12:6-7, he is speaking of the words of God in Scripture.

      We shall briefly speak to it in the sence we have mentioned, according to the usual acceptation, as that also may stand and agree with the other.

      The truth of which in any sence, The Church of the living God, is the Pillar and Ground, is (as before hinted) Jesus Christ himself as raised from the Dead in that Body in which he was delivered for our offences. And so the infinite fountain, and treasury of grace, and truth in him as so considered answering to all the former Oracles, prophesies, and tipes; as that is manifested or brought to light by the Gospell, as now spoken forth by Jesus Christ in these last dayes, which Gospel of our Salvation, as so come forth, is therefore eminently (and as distinguished from former dispensations, from Gods speaking in the Law, and by the Prophets) called the truth, the word of Truth, Ephesians 1. 13. James. 1. 18. 2 Corinthians 4. 1. 4. with chap. 3. Not because this speaking of God by Jesus Christ is more true then any of his former speakings in the Law, or by the Prophets, that cannot be, for, as his righteousness is everlasting, so his whole Law, or Doctrine is the truth, The righteousness of his testimonies is everlasting; his word true from the beginning, and every one of his righteous judgements for ever: They are all infinite in truth and faithfulness like himselfe; so that no one of them can be more true, Psalm 119. 140. 142. 144. 160. With Psalm 12. 6, 7. and Proverbs 22. 20, 21. Eccles. 12. 10. Psalm 19; 7, 8, 9. But because in this speaking of God by his Son in these last dayes, The truth of all those former speakings is manifested, the infinite truth, faithfulness, and righteousness of God, in every one of those Oracles, Prophesies, and Typical witnesses of things to come, in in this dispensation manifested, revealed, and brought to light, God did give us his purpose and grace in Christ, for saving and calling with an holy calling, even from the beginning of the World in those oracles and witnesses of Christ in the Law and Prophets, but he hath now manifested his righteousness in it, by the appearing of Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and brought life, and immortality to light through the Gospel: See 2 Tim. 1.9, 10, 11. with Tit. 1. 1. 3. Rom. 1. 16, 17. and 3. 21. 2 Cor. 4. 1. 3.

      Breach upon Breach: or an Acknowledgement of Judiciall Breaches Made Upon Us … , Thomas Moore, Junior, (Separatist Preacher), London: by J.B. for the Author, 1659, pp. 60-61

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