textual criticism argumentation

From: Brian E. Wilson (brian@twonh.demon.co.uk)
Date: Thu Oct 23 1997 - 04:46:16 EDT

Clay Bartholomew wrote:
>I don't suppose that there is anyone else on the b-greek list that
>is occasionally troubled by the what passes for argumentation in
>text critical literature. I find that much of this argumentation is
>what John M. Frame (Westminster Seminary/Calif) has called
>"broadly circular."

I agree with what Clay writes. His exposition of the sort of
argumentation used in text criticism is very valid. The deafening
silence is that text critics do not explain their method.

 In 1961, in the last paragraph of his book **The Text of the New
Testament**, Vincent Taylor wrote **Textual criticism is an objective
scientific study**, but he does not explain what he means, and the
approach he uses in his book does not seem to me to be an application of
scientific method at all. I doubt whether he ever studied scientific
method or really knew what it was. I say that as someone who has read
almost everything Taylor wrote and has a great regard for his work

To be positive, I think text criticism is very much alive and is in the
process of clarifying its method, and that there are exciting prospects
of delineating the text of the Greek NT with deeper understanding and
greater accuracy in the years ahead. But only after a lot of traditional
ad hoc argumentation has been ditched.


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