Pious Prior Commitment And Choosing A Fork


Leomarc_caution_fork_in_road_released2ublicdomain_openclipartYesterday’s quote asked if Byzantine-priority or Majority Text theory is “less naturalistic and anthropocentric, and so more pious (and less impious), than the highly naturalistic and anthropocentric methodology of the eclectics.” In today’s quote, the late Theodore P. Letis answers in the affirmative. The text quoted, last I checked, was out of print and not easy to find used. (Not at a reasonable price, at any rate.) Some of Letis’ papers found in such Institute for Renaissance and Reformation Biblical Studies (IRRBS, Letis’ organization) texts may also be found in other publications (as journal articles, for example), so a research database search might prove fruitful. For your reference, the essay here quoted from is titled “In Reply to D. A. Carson’s ‘The King James Version Debate.’”

When reviewing the defenses of the Majority Text, one dominating consideration emerges: a prior commitment to what the Bible has to say concerning itself with regard to inspiration and preservation. For the Majority Text Apologists, this is an all-consuming consideration to which everything else must be subordinated. Their arguments, therefore, are not directed to some neutral bar of determination (as if such a thing existed) but are consciously directed to those who also have the same priority….Just so there is no attempt to move away from this issue to an issue of apparent fact versus non-fact, it must be remembered that we do not possess the autographs: therefore, no one can prove anything conclusively with regard to which manuscripts are closest. The issue is reduced to two reconstructions of text transmission history, one based on the guiding principles of a “required” providentially preserved text and the other based on the conclusions of a discipline which claims theological neutrality at its base.”

Theodore P. Letis, in The Majority Text: Essays and Reviews in the Continuing Debate, ed. Theodore P. Letis, pages 192, 194 in the 1987 IRRBS edition.

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