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The case for Scripture as an infallible rule of faith and practice . . . . rests on an examination of the apographa and does not seek the infinite regress of the lost autographa as a prop for textual infallibility.

Dr. Richard Muller

Confessional Bibliology
2018-10-05T02:29:35-06:00

Dr. Richard Muller

The case for Scripture as an infallible rule of faith and practice . . . . rests on an examination of the apographa and does not seek the infinite regress of the lost autographa as a prop for textual infallibility.
It can, then, with no color of probability be asserted (which yet I find some learned men too free in granting), namely, that there hath the same fate attended the Scripture in its transcription as hath done other books.

Let me say without offense, this imagination, asserted on deliberation, seems to me to border on atheism. Surely the promise of God for the preservation of his word, with his love and care of his church, of whose faith and obedience that word of his is the only rule, requires other thoughts at our hands.

John Owen

Confessional Bibliology
2018-10-06T12:44:38-06:00

John Owen

It can, then, with no color of probability be asserted (which yet I find some learned men too free in granting), namely, that there hath the same fate attended the Scripture in its transcription as hath done other books. Let me say without offense, this imagination, asserted on deliberation, seems to me to border on atheism. Surely the promise of God for the preservation of his word, with his love and care of his church, of whose faith and obedience that word of his is the only rule, requires other thoughts at our hands.
By “original and authentic” text, the Protestant orthodox do not mean the autographa which no one can possess but the apographa in the original tongue which are the source of all versions. The Jews throughout history and the church in the time of Christ regarded the Hebrew of the Old Testament as authentic and for nearly six centuries after Christ, the Greek of the New Testament was viewed as authentic without dispute. It is important to note that the Reformed orthodox insistence on the identification of the Hebrew and Greek texts as alone authentic does not demand direct reference to autographa in those languages; the “original and authentic text” of Scripture means, beyond the autograph copies, the legitimate tradition of Hebrew and Greek apographa.

Dr. Richard Muller

Confessional Bibliology
2018-10-05T02:00:52-06:00

Dr. Richard Muller

By “original and authentic” text, the Protestant orthodox do not mean the autographa which no one can possess but the apographa in the original tongue which are the source of all versions. The Jews throughout history and the church in the time of Christ regarded the Hebrew of the Old Testament as authentic and for nearly six centuries after Christ, the Greek of the New Testament was viewed as authentic without dispute. It is important to note that the Reformed orthodox insistence on the identification of the Hebrew and Greek texts as alone authentic does not demand direct reference to autographa in those languages; the “original and authentic text” of Scripture means, beyond the autograph copies, the legitimate tradition of Hebrew and Greek apographa.
Firstly, we thinke it not amiss to set downe the generall doctrine, that no one oracle or sentence of God can fall away. Whereby it will bee evident that the holy Scriptures both in the old and new Testament written in their original tongues, cannot either by addition, detraćtion, or exchange be corrupted. Whereunto the consideration of the authour of them, ministreth a substantiall proofe. For seeing they are of God, all whose workes remaine for euer; it followed that all the holy scriptures, being not only his handyworke, but as it were the chieſe, and masterworke of all other, must have a continuall endurance.

Thomas Cartwright

Confessional Bibliology
2018-10-06T12:30:11-06:00

Thomas Cartwright

Firstly, we thinke it not amiss to set downe the generall doctrine, that no one oracle or sentence of God can fall away. Whereby it will bee evident that the holy Scriptures both in the old and new Testament written in their original tongues, cannot either by addition, detraćtion, or exchange be corrupted. Whereunto the consideration of the authour of them, ministreth a substantiall proofe. For seeing they are of God, all whose workes remaine for euer; it followed that all the holy scriptures, being not only his handyworke, but as it were the chieſe, and masterworke of all other, must have a continuall endurance.
But still the Scriptures are wonderfully preserved, as the three Children in the Furnace, not an Hair was singed; not a jot or tittle of the Truth is perished or corrupted. If it were corrupted, it must be before Christ’s Time, or after it: not before, then Christ would have noted it; not after, for then the Parts would not agree; but we find no such thing but an exact Harmony: Nor is there any lost, for here is a sufficient Instruction and Guide to Happiness. Christ hath promised not a tittle shall fall to the ground. The Word hath been in danger of being lost, but the Miracle of Preservation is therefore the greater. In Joshua’s Time there was but one Copy of the Law. In Dioclesian’s Time, there was an Edict to burn their Bibles, and Copies were scarce and chargeable, and yet still it hath been kept.

Thomas Manton

Confessional Bibliology
2018-10-06T12:42:59-06:00

Thomas Manton

But still the Scriptures are wonderfully preserved, as the three Children in the Furnace, not an Hair was singed; not a jot or tittle of the Truth is perished or corrupted. If it were corrupted, it must be before Christ’s Time, or after it: not before, then Christ would have noted it; not after, for then the Parts would not agree; but we find no such thing but an exact Harmony: Nor is there any lost, for here is a sufficient Instruction and Guide to Happiness. Christ hath promised not a tittle shall fall to the ground. The Word hath been in danger of being lost, but the Miracle of Preservation is therefore the greater. In Joshua’s Time there was but one Copy of the Law. In Dioclesian’s Time, there was an Edict to burn their Bibles, and Copies were scarce and chargeable, and yet still it hath been kept.
Reason confirms the unity of the Godhead are therefore three persons in one divine essence and this is clearly established by the passage in 1 John v 7 which is brought forward and quoted Cyprian although not read in many copies A greater number of reasons can be alleged why passage should be said to have been struck out heretics than to have been inserted by the orthodox It was more to the advantage of heretics to this passage than to that of the orthodox to add it because if it were genuine the heresy of the would be entirely overthrown if spurious the orthodox creed was in no danger being clearly established from other passages of scripture The connection also of the text confirms our opinion unless this verse be admitted there seems no why John should say There are three that witness in earth not having before said any of three witnesses in heaven Nor can it be that these words in earth were also added afterwards for the contrary appears from verse 9 mention is made both of the divine and the testimony If we receive the witness of men witness of God is greater.

Benedict Pictet, Christian Theology, pg. 103

Confessional Bibliology
2018-10-05T02:39:33-06:00

Benedict Pictet, Christian Theology, pg. 103

Reason confirms the unity of the Godhead are therefore three persons in one divine essence and this is clearly established by the passage in 1 John v 7 which is brought forward and quoted Cyprian although not read in many copies A greater number of reasons can be alleged why passage should be said to have been struck out heretics than to have been inserted by the orthodox It was more to the advantage of heretics to this passage than to that of the orthodox to add it because if it were genuine the heresy of the would be entirely overthrown if spurious the orthodox creed was in no danger being clearly established from other passages of scripture The connection also of the text confirms our opinion unless this verse be admitted there seems no why John should say There are three that witness in earth not having before said any of three witnesses in heaven Nor can it be that these words in earth were also added afterwards for the contrary appears from verse 9 mention is made both of the divine and the testimony If we receive the witness of men witness of God is greater.
That the Originals were for the provision and food of the soules of his Church kept pure and uncorrupt by the Prophets and Jewes for the old; by the Apostles and Christian Churches for the New Testament, sealed up by St. John the Secretary of Christ, as Scotus calls him. Else the Lord must have been wanting to his Church, which cannot be imagined. And that acquired faith makes way for infused faith to act I have learned long since out of Scotus.

Richard Capel

Confessional Bibliology
2018-10-06T12:37:21-06:00

Richard Capel

That the Originals were for the provision and food of the soules of his Church kept pure and uncorrupt by the Prophets and Jewes for the old; by the Apostles and Christian Churches for the New Testament, sealed up by St. John the Secretary of Christ, as Scotus calls him. Else the Lord must have been wanting to his Church, which cannot be imagined. And that acquired faith makes way for infused faith to act I have learned long since out of Scotus.
The marvelous preservation of the Scriptures; though none in time be so ancient, nor none so much oppugned, yet God hath still by his providence preserved them, and every part of them.

Only the [Greek & Hebrew] Scriptures are for the letter to be held authentical; and as the water is most pure in the Fountain by the springing thereof, so the right understanding of the words of the ho­ly Scriptures is most certain in the original tongues of Hebrew and Greek, in which they were first written, and delivered to the Church, out of the which Languages they must be truly translated for the understanding of them that have not the knowledge of those tongues.

James Ussher

Confessional Bibliology
2018-10-06T12:31:17-06:00

James Ussher

The marvelous preservation of the Scriptures; though none in time be so ancient, nor none so much oppugned, yet God hath still by his providence preserved them, and every part of them. Only the [Greek & Hebrew] Scriptures are for the letter to be held authentical; and as the water is most pure in the Fountain by the springing thereof, so the right understanding of the words of the ho­ly Scriptures is most certain in the original tongues of Hebrew and Greek, in which they were first written, and delivered to the Church, out of the which Languages they must be truly translated for the understanding of them that have not the knowledge of those tongues.
A rather sharp contrast must be drawn, therefore, between the Protestant orthodox arguments concerning the autographa and the views of Archibald Alexander Hodge and Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield. . . . Those who claim an errant text, against the orthodox consensus to the contrary, must prove their case. To claim errors in the scribal copies, the apographa, is hardly a proof. The claim must be proven true of the autographa. The point made by Hodge and Warfield is a logical leap, a rhetorical flourish, a conundrum designed to confound the critics—who can only prove their case for genuine errancy by recourse to a text they do not (and surely cannot) have.

Dr. Richard Muller

Confessional Bibliology
2018-10-05T02:33:08-06:00

Dr. Richard Muller

A rather sharp contrast must be drawn, therefore, between the Protestant orthodox arguments concerning the autographa and the views of Archibald Alexander Hodge and Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield. . . . Those who claim an errant text, against the orthodox consensus to the contrary, must prove their case. To claim errors in the scribal copies, the apographa, is hardly a proof. The claim must be proven true of the autographa. The point made by Hodge and Warfield is a logical leap, a rhetorical flourish, a conundrum designed to confound the critics—who can only prove their case for genuine errancy by recourse to a text they do not (and surely cannot) have.
All too much discussion of the Reformers’ methods has attempted to turn them into precursors of the modern critical method, when in fact, the developments of exegesis and hermeneutics in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries both precede and, frequently conflict with (as well as occasionally adumbrate) the methods of the modern era.

Dr. Richard Muller

Confessional Bibliology
2018-10-05T02:37:11-06:00

Dr. Richard Muller

All too much discussion of the Reformers’ methods has attempted to turn them into precursors of the modern critical method, when in fact, the developments of exegesis and hermeneutics in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries both precede and, frequently conflict with (as well as occasionally adumbrate) the methods of the modern era.
By the space of so many thousand years the word of God passed by so many dangers of tyrants, of Pharisees, of heretics, of fire, and of sword, and yet continueth and standeth until this day, without altering or changing one letter. This was a wonderful work of God, that, having so many, so great enemies, and passing through so many, so great dangers, it yet continueth still, without adding or altering of any one sentence, or word, or letter. No creature was able to do this: it was God’s work. He preserved it, that no tyrant should consume it, no tradition choke it, no heretic maliciously should corrupt it. For his name’s sake, and for the elect’s sake, he would not suffer it to perish. For in it God hath ordained a blessing for his people, and by it he maketh covenant with them for life everlasting. Tyrants, and Pharisees, and heretics, and the enemies of the cross of Christ, have an end; but the word of God hath no end. No force shall be able to decay it. The gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Cities shall fall : kingdoms shall come to nothing : empires shall fade away as the smoke ; but the truth of the Lord shall continue for ever. Burn it, it will rise again : kill it, it will live again: cut it down by the root, it will spring again. ” There is no wisdom, neither understanding, nor counsel against the Lord.” (Prov 21)
Confessional Bibliology
2018-10-06T12:27:58-06:00
By the space of so many thousand years the word of God passed by so many dangers of tyrants, of Pharisees, of heretics, of fire, and of sword, and yet continueth and standeth until this day, without altering or changing one letter. This was a wonderful work of God, that, having so many, so great enemies, and passing through so many, so great dangers, it yet continueth still, without adding or altering of any one sentence, or word, or letter. No creature was able to do this: it was God’s work. He preserved it, that no tyrant should consume it, no tradition choke it, no heretic maliciously should corrupt it. For his name’s sake, and for the elect’s sake, he would not suffer it to perish. For in it God hath ordained a blessing for his people, and by it he maketh covenant with them for life everlasting. Tyrants, and Pharisees, and heretics, and the enemies of the cross of Christ, have an end; but the word of God hath no end. No force shall be able to decay it. The gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Cities shall fall : kingdoms shall come to nothing : empires shall fade away as the smoke ; but the truth of the Lord shall continue for ever. Burn it, it will rise again : kill it, it will live again: cut it down by the root, it will spring again. ” There is no wisdom, neither understanding, nor counsel against the Lord.” (Prov 21)
Therefore I like that of Bellarmine, who stands upon it, that of such like things a certainty may be had from the testimonies of men, in some sort comparable to natural evidence it self, for that it leaves no scruple or dubitation in our minds: But what of all this? Why it shewes that the general consent of (in a manner) all Hebricians and Grecians in the Christian world, consenting that our Originals are by the good hand of God preserved uncorrupt, and pure, is a sufficient persuasion, to breed a moral certainty answerable to natural evidence, excluding all reasonable dubitation to the contrary.

Richard Capel

Confessional Bibliology
2018-10-06T12:35:32-06:00

Richard Capel

Therefore I like that of Bellarmine, who stands upon it, that of such like things a certainty may be had from the testimonies of men, in some sort comparable to natural evidence it self, for that it leaves no scruple or dubitation in our minds: But what of all this? Why it shewes that the general consent of (in a manner) all Hebricians and Grecians in the Christian world, consenting that our Originals are by the good hand of God preserved uncorrupt, and pure, is a sufficient persuasion, to breed a moral certainty answerable to natural evidence, excluding all reasonable dubitation to the contrary.
I answer, both to disciples and to teachers, God is made known to be the author of it by the revelation of the same Spirit. Moses and the prophets did not utter at random what we have received from their hand, but, speaking at the suggestion of God, they boldly and fearlessly testified, what was actually true, that it was the mouth of the Lord that spake. The same Spirit, therefore, who made Moses and the prophets certain of their calling, now also testifies to our hearts, that he has employed them as his servants to instruct us. Accordingly, we need not wonder if there are many who doubt as to the Author of the Scripture; for, although the majesty of God is displayed in it, yet none but those who have been enlightened by the Holy Spirit have eyes to perceive what ought, indeed, to have been visible to all, and yet is visible to the elect alone. This is the first clause, that we owe to the Scripture the same reverence which we owe to God; because it has proceeded from him alone, and has nothing belonging to man mixed with it.

John Calvin on 2 Timothy 3:16

Confessional Bibliology
2018-10-06T12:26:25-06:00

John Calvin on 2 Timothy 3:16

I answer, both to disciples and to teachers, God is made known to be the author of it by the revelation of the same Spirit. Moses and the prophets did not utter at random what we have received from their hand, but, speaking at the suggestion of God, they boldly and fearlessly testified, what was actually true, that it was the mouth of the Lord that spake. The same Spirit, therefore, who made Moses and the prophets certain of their calling, now also testifies to our hearts, that he has employed them as his servants to instruct us. Accordingly, we need not wonder if there are many who doubt as to the Author of the Scripture; for, although the majesty of God is displayed in it, yet none but those who have been enlightened by the Holy Spirit have eyes to perceive what ought, indeed, to have been visible to all, and yet is visible to the elect alone. This is the first clause, that we owe to the Scripture the same reverence which we owe to God; because it has proceeded from him alone, and has nothing belonging to man mixed with it.
Turretin and other high and late orthodox writers argued that the authenticity and infallibility of Scripture must be identified in and of the apographa, not in and of lost autographa.

Dr. Richard Muller

Confessional Bibliology
2018-10-05T02:34:22-06:00

Dr. Richard Muller

Turretin and other high and late orthodox writers argued that the authenticity and infallibility of Scripture must be identified in and of the apographa, not in and of lost autographa.
I re-affirm my belief that a polyglot text influenced א throughout.  And I charge B with being the child of a Graeco-Latin recension, and by its scribe or by its parent of being tremendously influenced by a Coptic recension or by a Graeco-sahidic and/or a Graeco-bohairic ms.

I cannot allow that אB influenced the Sahidic or Bohairic versions (except perhaps a few separate mss of each or either of them); for the sympathy visible between א or B or both and the Coptic versions is a sympathetic bond which antedates the mss א and B, and which contributes to place these versions (where they oppose אB) on an independent footing implying a Greek text of older date than that of אB, and when supported by other good witnesses to be followed.

And I charge Westcott and Hort with having utterly failed to produce any semblance of a "neutral" text. I charge them with the offence of repeated additions to the narrative on most insufficient evidence.

Herman C. Hoskier, Codex B & Its Allies

Confessional Bibliology
2018-10-06T11:39:36-06:00

Herman C. Hoskier, Codex B & Its Allies

I re-affirm my belief that a polyglot text influenced א throughout.  And I charge B with being the child of a Graeco-Latin recension, and by its scribe or by its parent of being tremendously influenced by a Coptic recension or by a Graeco-sahidic and/or a Graeco-bohairic ms. I cannot allow that אB influenced the Sahidic or Bohairic versions (except perhaps a few separate mss of each or either of them); for the sympathy visible between א or B or both and the Coptic versions is a sympathetic bond which antedates the mss א and B, and which contributes to place these versions (where they oppose אB) on an independent footing implying a Greek text of older date than that of אB, and when supported by other good witnesses to be followed. And I charge Westcott and Hort with having utterly failed to produce any semblance of a "neutral" text. I charge them with the offence of repeated additions to the narrative on most insufficient evidence.
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Confessional Bibliology



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