What is Standard Sacred Text.com – Sacred

Eminent scholar, Daniel Wallace opines in the following manner,

“I would question whether it is an epistemologically sound principle to allow one’s presuppositions to dictate his text-critical methodology. This is neither honest to a historical investigation nor helpful to our evangelical heritage.”

Daniel Wallace, “Challenges in New Testament Textual Criticism for the Twenty-First Century” in Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society Vol. 52, Iss. 1 (March 2009): 79-100. 93.

Here at StandardSacredText.com we do not question whether it is an epistemologically sound principle to allow one’s theological presuppositions to dictate text-critical methodology. Indeed, we argue the opposite. We argue that it is honest to historical investigation. Why? Well of course the Scriptures are historical particulars but so is divine revelation.

The fact that the Red Sea parted is a historical fact. According to the Christian worldview, the fact that God made the Red Sea part is also a historical fact. In fact, divine revelation is just as much a historical “artifact” as the physical document we call the Scriptures. The apostle John’s writing of the gospel of John is a historical fact. In the same way, according to the Christian worldview, God’s inspiring John to write the inspired words of the gospel of John is also a historical fact.

As such we do not exclude the Triune God or Christian theology from any of our academic endeavors whether that be linguistic, scientific, historical, or other. What we believe about what the Bible says about itself is sacred issue, indeed, a sacred duty. And by sacred we mean set apart to God. Paul reminds us in I Corinthians 10: 31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Text-critical method falls under “whatsoever ye do. ” If the glory of the Triune God is your aim in text-critical methodology then it seems something of your theological presuppositions is dictating your methodology.

If God’s glory is not the aim of the Christian, then said Christian violates Paul’s injunction. Certainly we would say this of a marriage which has some other aim. Or a business which has some other aim. In fact, some may say that this “other aim” may amount to idolatry.

“The glory of the Triune God” is a theological presupposition.
A: All the things a Christian does should be done to the glory of the Triune God.
B: Text-critical methodology is something a Christian does.
Conclusion: For a Christian, text-critical methodology should be done to the glory of the Triune God.

Weekly Question – What if we had a Standard Sacred Text?

What if we had a standard sacred text?

Say the English speaking believing community were to arrive at and agree on a standard sacred text. What negative outcomes do you think will come about? What are the cons? How would the Church be injured? What does the worse case scenario look like? What is the likely scenario? Why is such the case?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

What is Standard Sacred Text.com – Standard

The term “canon” means rule, reed, or standard. We often refer to the Scriptures as the canon of Scripture. This is to say that the Scriptures are the rule, the reed, and the standard. Just as the Triune God is the archetypical Rule, Reed, and Standard so also the Scriptures are rule, reed, and standard. As the London Baptist Confession puts it,

“The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience.”

London Baptist Confession, On Holy Scripture 1. i.

Note the orthodox formulation concerning the extent of this rule. It is not merely infallible in issues of salvation but also in issues of faith. Indeed, the canon of Scripture reminds us that “whatsoever is not of faith is sin” [Rom. 14:23]. This is to say that Scripture is the standard for an entire life lived in faith not only the standard for salvation. Remember the words of the apostle Peter in that the Scriptures have given unto us “all things that pertain to life and godliness” [II Peter 1:3]. Furthermore the Confession goes on to say that the Scripture is canon for all obedience and our obedience is born from love. As Christ says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” [John 14:15]. Scripture is the measure and rule of all means of salvation, right living, obedience, and love.

Furthermore such an appeal to “standard” should not come as a shocker for so many of the believing community in that they read the English Standard Version or the New American Standard Version or the Christian Standard Version. I hope you see the theme here. It seems the editors of these versions hope, even aim, for a standard. But are these versions the standard? Nope, at least not in the sense of canon. In what sense they are “standard,” we are unsure.

It seems then that Standard Sacred Text folks (i.e., KJV Only folks and Confessional Bibliology folks) as well as ESV, NASB, and CSB folks [at least] seek some kind of standard. It seems then that a large cross section of Christians desire such a standard. On this point we can agree toward a same goal. StandardSacredText.com exists to realize that goal or at very least assist in realizing that goal.

Autographa

“autographa: autographs, originals;

specifically, the original autograph copies of the books of the Bible as they came from the hands of the inspired authors.”

Richard Muller, Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms: Drawn Principally from Protestant Scholastic Theology, Term: autographa.

NOTES: It is interesting to observe that the “autographa” was for the Protestant Scholastics of the Reformation, “original autograph copies.” For the Protestants of old and for us here at StandardSacredText.com, we looks to the copies as autographic. Thus Francis Turretin writes concerning “The Purity of the Sources,”

“By the original texts, we do not mean the autographs written by the hand of Moses, of the prophets and of the apostles, which certainly do not now exist. We mean their apographs [copies] which are so called because they set forth to us the word of God in the very words of those who wrote under the immediate inspiration of the Holy Ghost.”

Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 1, Second Topic, Q. 10, Sec. II.

What is Standard Sacred Text.com? – Community

“The word catholic was used early on in Christian history to denote that which is believed everywhere: the whole deal. The heart of the word is Greek holos, meaning whole, entire, integral. It is not related to the English whole or heal. The linking idea is that you don’t want only a part, or you don’t want only to be associated with a part. You want the whole thing. And there is only one place to get it.”

ANTHONY ESOLEN, ANGELS BARBARIANS AND NINCOMPOOPS…AND A LOT OF OTHER WORDS YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW, 8-9.

Esolen, being a devout Roman Catholic, most certainly means that “one place” to be the Roman Catholic Church. On this point he has erred in a drinking-out-of-the-wrong-Holy-Grail kind of erred.

Still, he does touch on a central desire all true Christians have – to want the whole of Christian community in unity. The apostle Paul declares as much when he writes that we ought to endeavor “to keep the unity of Spirit in the bond of peace” [Eph. 4:3]. But the Spirit is never alone. He always accompanies the word of God and the word, the Spirit. As such the writer of Hebrews declares that the word of God is quick [i.e., alive]. Indeed, for many this is the greatest “proof” that Scripture is the word of God.

“Thus, the highest proof of Scripture derives in general from the fact that God in person speaks in it.”

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, I, vii, 4.

The “whole of Christian community in unity” is an issue of unity in the Spirit and unity in the Spirit entails unity around the word of God. StandardSacredText.com aims to foster this unity around the word of God by offering resources and making arguments for the validity and benefits of having a standard sacred text for the English speaking believing community.

Certainly there will be some disagreement and where there is disagreement about strongly held convictions there can be friction between brothers in Christ. Indeed, that very well may happen. Still, we hope that while we may disagree about the mode of baptism or church governance we can agree that belief in a standard sacred text by the English speaking believing community would be a boon for the Church. Undoubtedly such a journey or process will be a messy one but as you and I consider the goal and benefits of such a conclusion perhaps you too will join in the effort.