Road Creek Ford

Not far from my house is a road that cuts off several mile when heading west. This road has a unique name as do many roads in America – Road Creek Ford. For me, every time I take the right down Road Creek Ford, I am reminded of the error it would be for historians to interpret the name of this road according to some prescribed road-naming convention.

You can imagine the textual road naming elite attempting modern critical methods to determine the proper name of the road. Most conspicuously, “Road” should receive an (A) rating for being the third word in the name. After all, “Road” is what is being described. “Ford” as a shallow place to cross a stream would perhaps receive a (B) or (C) rating as the last of the three words describing the historic location, but dropping to a (D) rating when attempting to replace the (A) rated “Road.” The likelihood of “Road” being the first word of the name is negligible. “Ford Creek Road” raises the issue of “Ford” being the name of a person for whom the creek was named. This seems the most likely rendering of the road’s name.

The next possibility would be “Creek Road Ford” where again “Creek” serves as an adjective for “Road” and on “Creek Road” there is a “Ford” thus “Creek Road Ford.” While this makes logical sense, it does not answer the question of giving the road’s name. It is not a ford at issue but a road. Unless, a ford was the issue and the name is simply in an entirely wrong naming category. Add to this the historic improbability of a 21st century ford, the notion of “Creek Road Ford” as the lost name would reveal a high degree of doubt and receive a (C) or (D) rating.

Again, if the issue was “creeks,” “Ford Road Creek” where again, consistent with the naming convention, “Ford” is the adjective describing “Road” and then naming a nearby creek makes logical sense, but only if the name was of a creek and not a road.

Note that there is no naming convention that makes the noun “Road” an adjective for another noun “Creek” to describe another noun “Ford.” The likelihood of this name being the original, according to modern road naming convention has a high decree of doubt and would receive only a (D) rating. Only if “Road Creek” is the name of the creek due to its proximity to a road or being named after someone named “Road”, and on that creek there is a ford, does the name of the ford make any sense. Such a rendering should receive minimally a (B) or (C) rating.

With the addition of competing (A) ratings, the solution to the correct name beginning or ending with the word “Road” falls to some naming authority. The modern road naming authority, while citing the variants, will assure the reader that while the reading in the text received an (A) rating, “Ford Creek Road,” that the questions about this choice and variant readings are included in the textual apparatus.

The point of this brief exercise is that the elite naming critics without access to the road sign, the autograph, on the corner of “Double Cabin” and “Road Creek Ford” possess only limited and subjective knowledge of the road name and will be forever at the mercy of fluctuating empirical surmising making their best guess at the road’s name and then pretending they have it right. And with this pretending is the demonization of all those who declare the truth that the name of the road is Road Creek Ford. After all, how unscholarly would someone be to believe that?

What we all need, including the critic, is an authoritative map to which everyone must appeal for the true reading.

Published by Dr. Peter Van Kleeck, Sr.

Dr. Peter William Van Kleeck, Sr. : B.A., Grand Rapids Baptist College, 1986; M.A.R., Westminster Theological Seminary, 1990; Th.M., Calvin Theological Seminary, 1998; D. Min, Bob Jones University, 2013. Dr. Van Kleeck was formerly the Director of the Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, Grand Rapids, MI, (1990-1994) lecturing, researching and writing in the defense of the Masoretic Hebrew text, Greek Received Text and King James Bible. His published works include, "Fundamentalism’s Folly?: A Bible Version Debate Case Study" (Grand Rapids: Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, 1998); “We have seen the future and we are not in it,” Trinity Review, (Mar. 99); “Andrew Willet (1562-1621: Reformed Interpretation of Scripture,” The Banner of Truth, (Mar. 99); "A Primer for the Public Preaching of the Song of Songs" (Outskirts Press, 2015). Dr. Van Kleeck is the pastor of the Providence Baptist Church in Manassas, VA where he has ministered for the past twenty-one years. He is married to his wife of 43 years, Annette, and has three married sons, one daughter and eighteen grandchildren.

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