The Unargued Biases of Restorationist Textual Criticism

In Restorationist Textual Criticism, Textual Criticismby Chris ThomasLeave a Comment

Handwritten manuscripts are superior to printed collations

This claim is usually made concerning the translators of the Authorized Version that they didn’t use Greek manuscripts and only used printed collations (Textus Receptus).  We will ignore the false charge that the AV translators did not consult manuscripts and instead look at the unargued bias that manuscripts are superior to their printed collations.  People who make this claim, never seem to have a problem with modern translation teams using the Nestle-Aland Greek text.  It is only leveled against the translators of the AV.  This difference in standards is a sign of hypocrisy.  But would it matter?  No, it doesn’t matter at all.  The collation of the Greek manuscripts was already completed.  There was no reason to redo the work.  The implication of this bias is that every time someone works on a translation they must take all their Greek manuscripts and redo the work of collation.  Why?  No objective reason is given.  The subjective reason is nothing but a thinly veiled attempt to undermine the work of the Reformers in favor of textual philosophy that has as its foundation atheism.

The older a manuscript is, the more reliable it is

This is yet another unprovable bias of RTC advocates.  It is asserted that the older a manuscript is, then in general it is a more reliable reflection of the autographic text.  What must be true to verify this claim?  We would need two things:  1) access to the autographic text; 2) proof that the Biblical writers, ancient church fathers, and historians are all wrong when they state that heretics corrupted the texts early on.  We have neither one of these two necessary things for verifying the claim.  It is also hypocritical considering that the majority of older OT Hebrew texts come from around the 10th century. Furthermore, the claim is an outright rejection of the Doctrine of Providential Preservation which states that the authentic Greek & Hebrew texts have been available and known throughout the history of the church.  So if the claim is true, then the Bible is wrong.

The papyri changed everything in RTC

This is a ridiculous claim right from the start.  Taylor DeSoto quotes from actual textual critics who state the discovery of the papyri have changed very little in RTC.

Having access to more Greek mss today makes our knowledge of the text superior to that of the Reformers

This unargued bias can only be proven true by a recourse to the autographic texts.  And since we don’t have those, the claim has no weight.  So why would someone assert something so ridiculous?  The reason the claim is made is to undermine the textual work of the Reformers.  Like all these unargued biases and the historical myths about Erasmus, the purpose is solely to discredit the work of the Reformers on the texts of Scripture so that God’s word can be replaced by a new Greek New Testament constructed using naturalistic methods, utilizing an atheistic philosophy, and that contains the ancient heresies of Gnosticism and Arianism.  The underlying motivation for this is little more than sinful pride in one’s intellectual ability uninformed by Scripture.  But what does God call people who begin their reasoning process with faith in their own intellectual ability and not with the word of God?

Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

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