Friday, July 4, 2008

A famine of hearing the word of the LORD (Pt.5) Some credits and explanations

I'm no scholar, I'm just a member of the flock of Christ who recognizes a flimflam in the modern Bible versions. There are plenty of others out there like me, and some of them ARE scholars. I hope as I go along on this topic I'll be able to quote them to good purpose and give credit where credit is due.

I do have Gail Riplinger to thank for writing the book that brought the problems of the Bible versions to my attention. I'm aware that there are errors in her book, and in fact many in the KJV-only camp don't regard her work as solid enough to credit her. David Cloud, a KJV-onlier himself, agrees with her that the new versions have done much spiritual damage to the body of Christ, but he finds serious errors in her work, which he exposes here:

James White, who is a defender of the new versions, was able to point to many errors in her book, including unproven attacks on the character of the revisers.

However, White's is a broadside attack that needs to be answered back and I haven't found a rejoinder to this particular article yet. But here are a couple of answers to his book

Although I'm aware of the objections to her work, which seem to have some validity, nevertheless she was a groundbreaker for me. As David Cloud points out, her sensationalistic approach gave the problem a wide audience. She brought the problem to my attention and I am grateful to her for that. She has the spiritual nose for fraud even if her scholarship doesn't hold up in some ways. Her main work was a work of collation, of making the kind of comparisons I just made for Psalm 91 only she went into the underlying texts as well and she did it for the entire Bible. The method is pretty straightforward, it can't be faked. In its simplest form it's a project anyone can take up. It's laborious and timeconsuming but it is necessary for revealing the utterly unjustifiable changes from the KJV that are in the new versions.

Mrs. Riplinger apparently went beyond that work to make errors of scholarship and attribution, and also went on to make unsupportable accusations of some of the Bible scholars behind the new versions. As I just discovered myself, however, it is very hard to avoid suspecting the motives of those involved in such an undertaking when you really look at those comparisons. A spiritual fraud of the deepest deceitfulness imaginable seems the only explanation for the mindless destruction wreaked upon the word of God by the changes in the new versions. Perhaps most of those who defend the new versions today are innocent of such deceit themselves, but it is hard to think those who did the revising could possibly be innocent, when you see the choices they made.

I suppose it's possible that in some cases they merely intended to find the best possible rendition of the text, but it's hard to hold to that idea when you contemplate the actual choices they made, And when you remember that Westcott and Hort, the original revisers, were charged with and agreed to, preserving the English Bible as intact as possible and making any change with extreme caution and respect, and then you realize that they substituted a completely different set of texts for the KJV's, and you see the actual changes they made, and then you see the subsequent changes made in later revisions that build upon their revision, it is very hard to avoid the impression that there is a concerted effort to destroy the Bible rather than preserve it. Very hard. When you see changes made toward a minority reading and even apparently merely whimsical choices that throw good English and good sense along with caution to the wind, there is no scholarly justification for such things that can be anything but a rationalization of the absurd.

My favorite writer on the subject right now is Dean John William Burgon, who wrote tomes on the subject during the time of the Westcott-Hort revision, and I've only recently discovered him so it will be a while before I can do him justice. I'm going to have to put up some wonderful quotations from his writing, some of which I have available already but it takes time to get such things together to post them. He is a scholar of the Biblical texts so when he says that Westcott and Hort violated their agreement to make only the most necessary changes in the text, even making changes that are so far from necessary they are unconscionable, he has a knowledge to back him up that I don't have.

My approach is naive, of necessity, but also it's better that way if I hope to talk to Christians in general. I'm relying on common sense and spiritual sense to recognize the problem when it is demonstrated, as I've just done with Psalm 91.


ct said...

I don't concede the so-called 'errors' attributed to Riplinger and her book. The first edition of her book was released without being proofread due to her illness at the time, and White and others seized on simple typos and so forth in accusing her work of being "full of" errors. White has also re-edited - with no acknowledgment - his sophistic little book to make himself look better after Riplinger exposed him over and over in her response to him. (See her response on her website under 'Resources'.)

I discern Riplinger to be only 'off' (as does she herself as can be seen in some of the video interviews now available on the internet) when she got into conspiracy stuff that was off the subject of the Bible itself. She is able to joke about it and admit it. But the other so-called 'out there' stuff that her critics mock are just things they don't have the literary background to appreciate. Some of the more mysterious aspects of great literature and language itself.

She is not a novice regarding manuscript issues or language. Her critics merely saying she is doesn't prove the case. She does her homework. (And it's not brain surgery for the record.)

The main aspect of her work, exposing the types and patterns of corruption, is the one thing the Whites and other Critical Text scholars studiously avoid. They know they are exposed on that ground, so they mock her on everything but that and throw up alot of sand hoping to distract their followers from seeing that aspect of the corruptions of the Word of God.

And she most certainly was not wrong in her descriptions of Westcott and Hort. The Critical Text scholars *know* they can't defend those two clowns, so all they do is shamelessly state what is blatantly not true. And all the sophistry and fallacious nonsense they use when those are the first things they attack in their theological opponents betrays really a lack of conscience and a shamelessness to the degree of being satanic. That's not too strong a way of putting it.

Faith said...

I appreciate your coming by to give me support and correction about this. I'm perhaps overly influenced by David Cloud's criticism of her, he being a KJV-only advocate. I'll follow up your recommended references. Thanks.

Faith said...

By the way, do you have anything on your blogs about this subject?

ct said...

I don't debate the issues with Critical Text people people because it's like debating atheists. It's better to expose them and sometimes just merely mock them.

I have mostly things that discuss the need and what happens and etc. when you read the Word of God in complete, dedicated readings.

Cloud is very, very good on the KJV issues - very good - but he made a mistake with Riplinger. He didn't know her or her book and wrote a kneejerk review and then caught quite a backlash from his own audience for it. Then he dug in rather than admit he was maybe engaging in a little bit of jealosy over another person getting more attention on a subject he'd labored on for more years, all that.

I need to repeat something here: all these manuscript and language issues are not brain surgery (or rocket science). The Critical Text scholars juvenilely cultivate a sense that their chosen field of work is the most advanced, complicated, hard-to-understand, nuanced, byzantine (pardon the pun), advanced chess match of a subject that exists in the world. Really what it is is a very ripe field for juvenile sophists with a deep reverence for the authority of themselves and a deep hatred of the authority of God.

Faith said...

I dunno, CT, she comes off as a pretty loose cannon at times. If what Cloud quotes of her in her response to him is correct, she went way beyond the acceptable and he's quite right to denounce her for some of her accusations of him.

Textual criticism may not be exactly rocket science but there is a lot to know. There are thousands of manuscripts and fragments of manuscripts and differences among them with varying degrees of trustworthiness that have to be sorted out.

ct said...

I don't think she's a loose cannon at all. She doesn't even choose to be public hardly at all. She's an individual who has been fighting bad health since the beginning of all this. She quietly does her work. Regarding Cloud, Riplinger was - is - engaged in fierce spiritual warfare (if you can see that you can, if not, so be it), the backlash she received upon publication of her book was fierce (the devil didn't like being exposed by a true believer who laid it all out there like that, he prefers having lukewarm critics who make concessions and so forth) and taking incoming fire from her own side was a bit disconcerting for her to have to deal with. Cloud could have easily re-set the situation and admitted overstatements, but he chose to dig in, and he came across as a lukewarm wobbly (read some of the letters he received from his own readers if he still has them up). He basically was jealous and didn't want to admit it after-the-fact.

By saying the manuscripts issues aren't brain surgery I mean anything can be made complicated. People have self-interest in making things complicaed, i.e. inventing languages that become more and more arcane to give themselves more and more power. But it's simple: God preserves His Word. Period. The battle over the various manuscripts and variants *was won during the Reformation* when people actually *paid with their very lives* to win that battle. Nothing is new today. There are *no new manuscripts* that weren't known then. When the printing press was invented and the time in the history of redemption was ready for the broadcasting of God's Word it was the traditional text - what is called the Received Text (the Hebrew having its own received text as well) that was fought for and used. The devil and the Beast church of Rome did *everything in its power* to destroy the traditional text of God's Word and to destroy any notion that God preserves His Word and that the authority in the Word of God is *God Himself* and not man - priests or scholars, take your pick.

This is pure spiritual warfare on the most foundational ground: the quickening, saving Word of God. Riplinger is a warriour who will be rewarded by God (whether she feels she is worthy or not). She has defended God's Word when 99% of so-called church leaders have given up what is most precious and given away the hard won victory of Bible-believing Christians during the time of the Reformation and before. I don't see 'male' and 'female' among God's elect myself, but we see in Scripture when a woman has stepped up to do what the men were too cowardly or duped by the devil to be able to do. God bless her, and God's elect will never be fooled by the devil to accept the word and authority of man over the Word and authority of God.