Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Oh if only the seminaries and pastors would read Dean Burgon's Revision Revised.

I wonder how the seminaries teach the Bible versions history, what books top their reading list for the course. Clearly it is taught in most seminaries in such a way as to recommend the modern versions. But how much do they teach of the other side?

There's an online site by a Michael Marlowe who calls himself The Bible Researcher, who is very informative on many things. He has some degree of seminary training as I recall. He was one of my sources for the understanding of 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 as requiring women to cover our heads in church now as well as in Paul's day. But on the subject of the Bible versions he has capitulated to the establishment point of view. I was very disappointed to discover this. He dismisses Dean Burgon as simply overstating his case. He probably represents the majority of the scholarly Christian community.

I deeply wish that Dean Burgon's book were taught in the seminaries at great length. I think if the book were studied in the seminaries and also by pastors in the churches, before they set about teaching on the subject of the versions, it might well revolutionize things, it might well lead to a complete rethinking of the subject. Even if it didn't persuade all or even many, some honest souls would just have to recognize the superiority of his reasoning, his excellent knowledge, his thoroughly mustered evidence.

And he's SO funny too. His sarcasm in dismissing the ridiculous excuse for scholarship he finds in the work of Westcott and Hort is priceless. I still want to assemble some of the best quotes from him, especially in answer to James White, but I can't just toss it off, I'm going to have to work to put it together well. Meanwhile, I just had to say this much. Anyone who wants to read the book online will find it at David Cloud's site, and D A Waite's site sells it as well as hosting the Dean Burgon Society.

Lord, won't You have mercy on the church and open the eyes of many of her leaders on this subject among others?


The Puritan said...

To understand how seminaries operate on this subject of the biblical manuscripts and why they would never change read the section in this book that discusses seminary education:

Here's a passage from the relevant section called THE GREEK STRONGHOLD:

"For the past several decades most conservative fundamental Bible
colleges and seminaries have been perpetuating a significant weakening of the faith of their students with regard to the inerrancy of the Scriptures. The result is that today most Church pulpits are now filled by these students who have since become pastors. The scenario is similar and familiar almost no matter where one goes. As the young
impressionable man of God enrolls for study and preparation to become a pastor, he is soon informed that the New Testament was written in Greek. Consequently the student eventually finds himself enrolled in a first year Greek course. The moment the student enters the class, a peculiar phenomenon occurs. Not yet knowing Greek, he immediately finds himself placed at a great
disadvantage. What is the effect upon him from the spiritual standpoint? Very soon, the professor will subjugate the young man under his authority – not merely as an older man or as a teacher, but with regard to all spiritual matters by virtue of his knowledge of the Greek language. The clear impression that is conveyed toward the student is "You don't have the Word of God. It is written in Greek. You just don't know the Preservation or Restoration 'Holy' language. I do." So at the onset, the student is placed in submission under a teacher who may or may not love the Lord or believe in the verbal inspiration and preservation of the Scriptures. Having been thus subjugated to a Greek scholar, further adverse ramifications will follow shortly. The mind tends to accept as fact that the student never knows as much as his teachers. If he did, most teachers would soon convince him to the contrary. We tend to elevate teachers to a high intellectual pedestal, and many teachers assist us in so doing. In the mind of the learner, his Greek or Hebrew professor usually remains a spiritual authority, and the professor feels likewise. Being thus subjugated to a Greek faculty, the young impressionable
student is unaware of what is transpiring. The final authority for his life is no longer the Holy Scriptures which brought him to the Lord and set his soul on fire. Final authority has become the Greek lexicons and his Greek professor, the scholar, rather than the Word of God and the Holy
Spirit. This is accomplished by subtly convincing the inexperienced
student that he doesn't have the Word of God at his disposal. He soon begins to wonder if it even exists."

The section goes on.

Faith said...

I'm sure there is truth in that, but assuming there are some truly born-again teachers in the seminaries it can be hoped that the Lord would see fit to open their eyes to the wrongness of their trust in the wrong Greek texts.

Of course there would be no need to teach Greek at all if we had one established Authorized English Bible rather than the dizzying array of false Bibles. Greek would be taught only to those who were training to be textual critics, not pastors, and the RIGHT Greek text would be taught as authoritative, respect for the word would be promoted and fear of God would prevail.

This is why I was emphasizing Burgon's book. As a contemporary and colleague of Westcott and Hort, who specifically addressed their very arguments for their false text, he has an authority later critics don't have.

As I read his book I keep thinking that if it were taught in the seminaries, or even picked up and read by pastors, it seems to me that a huge crack in the hegemony of the false texts would have to open up.