Then He Poked The Bear: Episode V

This week we continue working our way through Then He Poked the Bear, a small book written by Van Kleeck Jr. in order to stir the scholastic pot. In this episode Dr. Van Kleeck, assuming a merely evidential method, addresses the reality that the statement, “It’s in the text or the apparatus” is a prime example of a Gettier Problem. That is, modern evangelical textual criticism can only yield beliefs based on relative degrees of probability but it can never deliver justified true belief or what is more commonly called, knowledge. Dr. Van Kleeck will explain this point by way of an example which employs well-meaning farmers from the Wisconsin countryside.

LIVE Lecture and Q&A w/ Dr. Van Kleeck Jr. – 01/10/2023

Tomorrow will be the fifth lecture of the Standard Sacred Text lecture series. We will begin at 7:30pm EST and will be held on the Zoom meeting platform. The lecture should run 50 or so minutes with LIVE interaction and Q&A both as the lecture is going on as well as afterward.

This week we continue working our way through Then He Poked the Bear, a small book written by Van Kleeck Jr. in order to stir the scholastic pot. In this episode Dr. Van Kleeck, assuming a merely evidential method, addresses the reality that the statement, “It’s in the text or the apparatus” is a prime example of a Gettier Problem. That is, modern evangelical textual criticism can only yield beliefs based on relative degrees of probability but it can never deliver justified true belief or what is more commonly called, knowledge. Dr. Van Kleeck will explain this point by way of an example which employs well-meaning farmers from the Wisconsin countryside.

Join us tomorrow at 7:30pm EST by clicking the button below. See you there.

Why the Most Recent Critically Based “Better” Version Fails the Church

The most recent critically based “better” version fails the Church because:

  1. it is not the theological or exegetical standard.

So let’s say we capitalize the pronouns referring to Deity, add some italics, and change the name of God by transliteration and not translation in the new version. Are we to gather because this the “better” version that all other versions in the MVO family must make changes to rise to the new standard? While one new version makes changes, there are plenty remaining that read differently and are not in translational alignment. In reality, all a new version gives the reader is more optional readings to consider, muddying the interpretive water while hoping to achieve a larger market share for its investors. There is no recent critically based “better” version that occupies the place of theological or exegetical standard. Indeed, one more version solidifies the truth that with the disparagement of the King James Version, the design of the critical camp was to guarantee that the Church would never again have a standard sacred text. The best arguments for another non-standard is the introductions to all the versions in the MVO family. After all, they are all the finest translations, that the finest modern scholars, with the best access to manuscript evidence, can produce.

  • it’s creators only pretend it is infallible Scripture. “Pretend” is defined, “to give a false appearance of being, possessing, or performing.”

The most recent critically base “better” fails the Church because it gives the false appearance of being the Word of God, of possessing self-attesting, self-authenticating, self-interpreting, inspired, infallibility, and of performing the unifying work of a standard sacred text. Once the Church pretends it has the Scripture, the essential realities that make Scripture God’s infallible Word are no longer necessary. Those transcendent qualities and characteristics are disregarded, the inauguration of the modern version’s acceptance grounded in an academic consensus to pretend it is the Scripture. Because pretending begins with a willingness to suspend reality, once the pretend Bible is adopted, all reason based, systemically formulated empirical arguments to the contrary are as irrelevant as saying the water in the little teacup in front of the teddy bear is really tea and that the stuffed bear actually requested a cup of tea. This is the apologetic and polemic sphere in which the defense of the pretend Scripture resides. The best argument for the pretend Bible is by analogy. Water is a liquid and so is tea or, theologically speaking, the Bible contains elements of God’s Word. As for the talking stuffed bear, the Evangelical text critic will do the talking for everyone around the table. After all, he or she is preeminently skilled in pretending.

And you are required to pretend the new bible is Scripture because of legacy institutions’ information dominance assuring you that pretending is acceptable and normative. Introductions to the new bibles assure the reader that novel literary and translational conventions are an improvement of the prior iteration. Not even in the Reformation Bible tradition did most recent mean better when considering the inability of the Bishops’ Bible to surpass the utility and popularity of the Geneva Bible. There are abundant reasons even within the multiple version only universe why novel renderings and translational conventions have been avoided. Why is 151st Psalm only found in the NRSV? Why the inclusion of the long reading of Mark 16 when the critical philosophy rejects the pericope as Scripture? Why is El-Shaddai translated “Almighty” and not “the breasted God?” Because even for the MVO advocate, some additions, subtractions, and translational changes are too extreme for people to pretend it is or is not Scripture. And it is the capability of the market, or Church, to pretend, that governs the shape of the modern translation. After all, the version is only as good as its marketability.

  • It is merely another addition to the pantheon of versions contributing to the theological and ecclesiastical malaise characteristic of multiple version onlyism.

It is impossible that the most recent new version is superior to the King James Version for the following reasons:

  1. It has not been vetted; it has only been endorsed. No one knows how the new version will withstand historical critical scrutiny. Will it show some utility or drift away as an anomaly?
  2. It cannot rise as the superior translation and remain part of the multiple version only library of bibles. The fact that it is not a standard restricts its ascendancy within the translational ranks to versional widespread mediocrity.
  3. And because of this versional mediocrity it is illegitimate to say that the chosen means of translation and adjusted literary convention is better than its predecessors.
  4. It is essentially the same as the other formally equivalent modern translations of the bible, hemmed in by the same underlying textual principles and methods. The most recent version is not better because all the previous modern versions have not been better because of the common malleable textual base.
  5. The new version cannot be spoken of in autographic terms because empirical evidence cannot connect the version and underlying text with the autograph. One can only say “Thus saith the Lord,” when reading the new version by pretending the Lord said it.
  6. The new version will add to the cacophony and impossibility of corporate responsive reading.
  7. The new version will lead to further confusion in the church as pastors replace the last best version with the most recent best version in the pews. This action will demonstrate that it is not the Scripture that governs the church but the man who governs the bible. Under the guise of Evangelicalism, the pastor functions more like a little pope than the undershepherd.
  8. The new version will lead to further schisms in the church as sides are taken based on the testimony of endorsers and personal opinion on which of the MVO versions are the best.
  9. The King James Version brought exegetical, theological, ecclesiastical, institutional, and societal stability to the English-speaking world. Another new version among the many is not going to reverse the present trend toward diminished exegetical grounding, theological ambivalence, ecclesiastical fecklessness, institutional deterioration, and societal chaos in the church and culture.
  10. With the world going to “hates in a hat basket,” publishers and apologists throw the church a lifeline that is moored to nothing. “Grab ahold,” they say, “I’ll pull you to safety.” But you find that the so-called lifeline is perpetually changing, always lengthening, and while you pull with all your might, you remain in the raging seas of contemporary culture and sinking. Publishers and apologists for new bibles are in the business of giving false hope, a cruel and despicable trade when what we all need is the sure and certain promises of God in His Holy Word.

Then He Poked The Bear: Episode IV

This week we continue working our way through Then He Poked the Bear, a small book written by Van Kleeck Jr. in order to stir the scholastic pot. In this episode Dr. Van Kleeck, assuming a merely evidential method, will deal with the interrelation of Warrant Transfer and present-day belief in the Scriptures. Did the copyists of the past believe they were copying the Scriptures? Is so and we have their copies then that should lead us to believe we have the Scriptures. But if not, then we have less reason to believe we currently possess the words of God in our hands.

LIVE Lecture and Q&A w/ Dr. Van Kleeck Jr. – 01/03/2023

Tomorrow will be the fourth lecture of the Standard Sacred Text lecture series. We will begin at 7:30pm EST and will be held on the Zoom meeting platform. The lecture should run 50 or so minutes with LIVE interaction and Q&A both as the lecture is going on as well as afterward.

This week we continue working our way through Then He Poked the Bear, a small book written by Van Kleeck Jr. in order to stir the scholastic pot. In this episode Dr. Van Kleeck, assuming a merely evidential method, will deal with the interrelation of Warrant Transfer and present-day belief in the Scriptures. Did the copyists of the past believe they were copying the Scriptures? Is so and we have their copies then that should lead us to believe we have the Scriptures. But if not, then we have less reason to believe we currently possess the words of God in our hands.

Join us tomorrow at 7:30pm EST by clicking the button below. See you there.

Then He Poked The Bear: Episode III

In this episode Dr. Van Kleeck, assuming a merely evidential method, addresses certain deliverances of modern evangelical textual criticism, particularly the strange absence of exegetical arguments, the overt commercialism, and the subsequent ecclesiastical homelessness indicative of modern evangelical textual criticism.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

LIVE Lecture and Q&A w/ Dr. Van Kleeck Jr. – 12/27/2022

Tonight will be the third lecture of the Standard Sacred Text lecture series. We will begin at 7:30pm EST and will be held on the Zoom meeting platform. The lecture should run 50 or so minutes with LIVE interaction and Q&A both as the lecture is going on as well as afterward.

This week we continue working our way through Then He Poked the Bear, a small book written by Van Kleeck Jr. in order to stir the scholastic pot. In this episode Dr. Van Kleeck, assuming a merely evidential method, addresses certain deliverances of modern evangelical textual criticism, particularly the strange absence of exegetical arguments, the overt commercialism, and the subsequent ecclesiastical homelessness indicative of modern evangelical textual criticism.

Join us tomorrow at 7:30pm EST by clicking the button below. See you there.

Gilbert Tennet, 1744, and The Effects of Scripture Surpassing the Force of Nature

“Another Argument of the Divinity of the Scripture is their almost miraculous Preservation for so long a tract of Time, notwithstanding the rage of numerous, powerful and political Opposers, while many other esteemed composures, which never met with such opposition, have long since perished. Antiochus Epiphanes, in the days of the Maccabees, made diligent search for the Book of the Law, and where ever he found it, burnt it, and threatened those that concealed it with Death and Torture, And about the Year of Christ 300, the Emperor Diocletian being determined to root Christianity out of the World, used the fame Barbarities to destroy the Scriptures. But the gracious God has preserved them to this day, maugre [in spite of] the combined rage of Hell, and Earth! yea to preserve them whole and entire, so that those to whom they were committed, have not been suffered to corrupt them, although they fell into opinions inconsistent with them, they have therefore fled to unwritten traditions as the Patron of their erroneous Opinions. The Jews to their Talmud and Cabala, which, they say, Moses delivered by Word of Mouth. And the Papists to oral Traditions, which they say were delivered by St. Peter. But I proceed to observe,

That the early success of the Gospel notwithstanding of all the opposition and contempt which was made against it, and cast upon it, gives additional Force to what has been before offered. What less then Omnipotence could make such self-denying Doctrines, preached by illiterate Men, become victorious over the Pride and Prejudice of multitudes of divers Nations, and that without the Arts of Persuasion or Influence of civil Power? And indeed, that divine Energy that does frequently attend the Holy Scriptures, is a pregnant argument of their divine Authority. By these the minds of men are enlightened, their consciences alarmed, their hearts comforted and renewed, having their general bias turned towards God, and heavenly objects, and their lives reformed! These Effects which have appeared in millions of men, do surpass the Force of Nature, and must therefore be ascribed to an omnipotent Cause. And is it consistent with the Wisdom and Holiness of God to use a forgery to produce such noble Effects, and thereby to confirm an imposture? no surely! most certainly the Almighty uses Instruments adapted to the Effects produced.”

Gilbert Tennet, The Divine Authority of the Sacred Scriptures, the being and attributes of God, and the doctrine of the Trinity (Philadelphia: Printed by W. Bradford, 1744), 77-78.

Is Evangelical Textual Criticism Compatible with the Traditional American Christmas?

Is Evangelical Textual Criticism Compatible with the Traditional American Christmas? The answer must be no, and for the following three reasons:

While White pusillanimously failed to answer the question posed by both Dr. Van Kleeck and Dr. Riddle as to whether any portion of Scripture is open to question or change based on manuscript evidence, his obfuscation argued that even the Christmas event of Luke 2 given additional manuscript evidence would bring the account into question.

The inception of text criticism was a German idea, later adopted by the British and then the Americans. Carson, White, Ward, et al, have adopted a German concept and approach to the Scripture. At this data point, the unique and exceptional American church has been usurped by German philosophies, and for allowing this usurpation the American church is no longer unique or exceptional. Of the German scholar Johann Semler (1725-1791), popularly known as the “father of German rationalism,” Knittel writes, “He denied the divine inspiration of the Scriptures. He was, if not the originator, certainly the great promoter of that Infidel system so fashionable amongst the modern Neologians or Rationalists of Germany: I mean the Accommodation Theory.” Francis Antony Knittel, New Criticisms on the Celebrated Text, 1 John 5:7, translated by William Alleyn Evanson (London: C. and J. Rivington, St. Paul’s Church-yard, J Hatchard and Son, Piccadilly, 1829, 1785), Translators Preface, xvii-xxiii. Semler, “became notorious as the founder of the modern school of so-called historical critics of the Bible.” https://www.biblicalcyclopedia.com/S/semler-johann-salomo.html

And, modern evangelical textual criticism’s attack on the King James Version strikes at the religious traditions of American culture. Christopher Flannery, in an article ran in Hillsdale College’s Imprimis, writes the following:

“And from Dickens to Die Hard, running through and making possible all these charming and uplifting stories that have become part of American Christmas, is the original Christmas story, which most Americans from the earliest days would have read from the King James Version—even as Linus did in the 1965 animated classic A Charlie Brown Christmas:

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Christopher Flannery, “American Christmas, American New Year,” Imprimis 51, no. 12 (Dec. 2022): 3.

Of the King James Version, editors Robert Alter and Frank Kermode in The Literary Guide to the Bible write, “Here is a miscellany of documents containing ancient stories, poems, laws, prophecies, which most of us cannot even read in the original languages, and which are a best, if we are English speakers, in an English that was already archaic when the King James (or “Authorized”) Version was published in 1611, and may now often seem distant and exotic: ‘that old tongue,’ as Edmund Wilson once vividly expressed it, ‘with its clang and flavor.’ Yet, as Wilson went on to say, ‘we have been living with it all our lives.’ In short, the language as well as the message it conveys symbolizes for us a past, strange, and yet familiar, which we feel we somehow must understand if we are to understand ourselves.”

Yes, we have been living with it our entire lives, but now, the Christmas story has been changed thanks to the Carsons and Whites of this world. Rather than the passage cited in the Charlie Brown Christmas I heard a pastor read, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Even the words of the Christmas event are subject to the text critic. “Peace” in the KJV, through the sending of Christ would bring peace and good will to all men. That is, Christ is benevolently disposed to all men not simply to some. “The gift of the Saviour is an expression of good-will or love to people, and therefore God is to be praised.” https://biblehub.com/commentaries/pulpit/luke/2.htm.

So, is evangelical textual criticism compatible with the traditional American Christmas? The answer is no, and for three reasons. 1. The evangelical critic casts doubt on the validity of the Christmas event and record; 2. The evangelical critic has adopted a foreign method that has no altruistic reason for supporting the American church or culture. Indeed, historically, the two countries have twice been at war with one another; and 3. The traditional Christmas record has already been changed by the multi-version onlyists.

Maybe if White, Carson, and Ward see Marley’s ghost they will be less “Bah, Humbug” and more Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!