The Gauntlet: An Official Call for Discussion and Debate

So it has been one week since the debate with Dr. White. As it currently stands there are almost 22,000 views of the debate so far. Several people have contacted me to say that they watch the debate live and then went back to watch it again and in so doing gleaned further insights into our defense of the Textus Receptus.

This is in part because the defense of the TR is quite broad in explanatory scope and force and a 2.5 hour debate cannot do justice to the material. Those who defend the TR do so with history, manuscript evidence, believing text-critical work, Christian theology, historical theology, philosophical theology, philosophy, epistemology as well as other tools of reason and inference. What is more, we believe it and are passionate about it. And because we are passionate about it we enjoy talking about it to anyone who will listen in nearly any environment from coffee shops to college classrooms.

As such I would like to officially announce that we are available for discussion and debate on the topic of the TR and the KJV. We will accept all invitations with certain caveats.

1.) We are willing to debate anyone so long as they have a terminating post-graduate degree [e.g., a D.Min., Ph.D., Th.M., or equivalent]
2.) If #1 is not fulfilled we would still be willing to have a vigorous, cordial, and moderated discussion of these topics.

We take the difference between a debate and discussion to be in format and aim. The format of a debate is limited in structure according to time parameters and centered on the debate question while a discussion is much freer with the time and can move around as the flow of the discussion dictates. Furthermore, a debate is a kind of competition with the goal of winning via the expression of persuasive truth. A discussion on the other hand is a time of learning and exploration – boldly going where perhaps the audience has never gone before.

Additionally, we are not the only ones willing to engage in debate and discussion. Over the past week several TR/KJV defenders have expressed the desire to debate and discuss topics in defense of the TR and KJV. These people are:

1.) Kent Brandenburg – His work can be found at Incidentally, Kent Brandenburg was the “Kent” Chris Arnzen first sought out for last week’s debate, not Kent Hovind. Kent Brandenburg has already had several moderated debates.
2.) Thomas Ross – His work can be found at Thomas has had many moderated debates on topics across the spectrum of Christian theology and apologetics.
3.) Nick Sayers – His work can be found at Nick has engaged in many online debates with interlocutors of varying academic acumen on various historical and text-critical issues.

Each has their wheelhouse and will defend the TR and KJV from different perspectives with their methodology but they are certainly faithful and available to make their case as they do.

Additionally, the 2022 Kept Pure in All Ages lectures with Dr. Jeff Riddle have recently been uploaded to YouTube. In the first lecture Dr. Riddle deals with certain apologetic considerations revolving around the work of Bart Ehrman. Then in his second lecture Riddle deals with the claims of Christians who are sympathetic to Ehrman’s position though they do not receive it en tota. Persons like Mark Ward fall into this category. Finally, Riddle addresses the Church, the believing community, and certain canned lines used by evangelicals to cast dispersions on the TR. Dr. Riddle’s lectures can be found here:
1.) Reasoning with the Wise and the Scribe
2.) Reasoning with the Disputer of this World
3.) Reasoning with Them That Believe


2 thoughts on “The Gauntlet: An Official Call for Discussion and Debate

  1. Brother, a couple of comments.

    You said, “We are willing to debate anyone so long as they have a terminating post-graduate degree [e.g., a D.Min., Ph.D., Th.M., or equivalent].” In one way I see your point (and maybe a second way). I have watched (or at least started watching) some debates in which the opponents sometimes had no idea what they are talking about, and it is a waste of time. On the other hand, you should not make this a hard and fast rule. If it turns out at some point in the future that the most competent challenger in the field does not have a terminating post-graduate degree, that should not be an excuse to avoid the challenge.

    You wrote, “Several people have contacted me to say that they watch the debate live and then went back to watch it again and in so doing gleaned further insights into our defense of the Textus Receptus.” I believe that this debate is one that will age well from the point of view of your presentation in favor of the TR. In some previous posts you talked about your debate strategy and method. In using arguments that were unfamiliar to James White, you also used arguments that were unfamiliar to some supporters of the TR as well. I noticed some initial reactions of people wondering what you were doing. However, some of these same people, after watching it over and/or hearing it explained, have a light go off, “Oh, now I see!” This is one reason I think the debate will age well. As people watch it, they will also see more clearly that you did your job – present a positive case for what you were affirming – and that James White was often just talking about what he wanted to (or needed to) without ever probing the depths of your affirmative – which was his job, being in the negative.

    Keep up the good work defending the inspired and preserved word, which we accept because it indeed says it is what it is, and is what is says it is.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Good to hear from you, Robert, Indeed, it is a bit tricky when accepting debates with opponents who may or may not be aware of the relevant issues. Still, we need to start somewhere generally speaking. In this sense I think we are saying the same thing.

      We’ll see what value the debate holds for the future. I did want both sides to start thinking outside the box and if that took place then the better off we all will be. I thought my first two arguments were rather straightforward while my third was meant to meet JW in the middle. His argument is largely predicated on probabilities so I thought it good to offer a probability argument of my own. It has amazed me how many folks balk at that argument while simultaneously accepting the probability arguments of modern textual criticism without so much as a critical expression to the contrary. I ran into one such person [a JW fan] in church today.

      In the end, I see that much work is left to be done and I pray the Lord gives us the strength and opportunity to continue to do that work. Thanks for the feedback Robert. Keep it coming and keep up the good work.

      Liked by 1 person

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