Thursday, August 13, 2009

What's wrong with Riplinger's main thesis

In Hazardous Materials as well as in New Age Bible Versions, the main argument Riplinger employs is to focus on the moral failings and spiritual errors of those associated with the works she is attacking. In some cases these are 'errors' and 'heresies' that are only considered such in her own narrow corner of American Fundamentalism, such as Calvinism, a Spiritual view of the Lord's Supper, and the baptism of infants. In terms of moral failings, firstly this is easy, as we are all sinners, and secondly she sometimes makes those up - such as the unmentionable accusation against B.F. Westcott.

The trouble with this method is that, if followed consistently, it rebounds on the user, because all Bible versions are translated by sinners. Not only were the texts commonly called the Textus Receptus compiled by the Roman Catholic Erasmus and the Calvinists Beza and Stephanus (remember that it is Riplinger's position that is being engaged with), but the AV itself was produced by a committee of sinners.

From Benson Bobrick's The Making of the English Bible (London, Phoenix, 2001), we find that:

1). All but one of the AV translators were Anglican clergymen (P. 223), and thus also paedobaptists.

2). Lancelot Andrewes was a one-time Puritan turned Anglo-Catholic (P. 226)

3). Hadrian Saravia "a terrible high churchman", turned Anglican from Presbyterianism and wrote a book upholding episcopacy (P. 228)

4). William Bedwell was a lexicographer who wrote a book "which argued that a knowledge of Arabic was indispensible for an understanding of ancient Hebrew texts," a position Riplinger condemns modern lexicographers for holding to (P. 229).

5). Bishop Overall "knew Greek, but was primarily known as a Latinist and was so fluent in that language that he once admitted it was sometimes difficult for him to speak English at any length" (P. 229). Overall had marital problems (P. 230).

6). Richard Thompson "was an urbane, worldly, and cosmopolitan man who 'seldom went to bed sober', and was notoriously partial to racy epigrams" (P. 231).

7). Edward Lively had serious debt problems (P. 232).

8). John Reynolds, though a Puritan in other ways, accepted the doctrine of Apostolic Succession (P. 235). As a student he played a girl in a collge play.

9). Thomas Holland was a student of the Church Fathers and the Medieval Scholastic theologians, people Riplinger condemns others for studying (P. 237).

10). Samuel Ward (not to be confused with the Puritan of the same name) was a Pluralist, that is to say a man who held several Church posts at the same time, including pastorates hundreds of miles apart (P. 239)

11). Thomas Ravis was a persecutor of Calvinists (P. 241)

12). Sir Henry Savil was the editor of an edition of the Works of John Chrysostom, and spent so much time at his scholarly pursuits that his wife wished she was a book so that he would spend more time with her (Pp. 241-2).

13). Archbishop George Abbott not only was a Calvinist who killed a gamekeeper while out hunting, but he also had 140 students thrown in prison for sitting with their hats on in St. Mary's Church when he was preaching (Pp. 242-3).

14). Most of the translators were Calvinists. Laurence Chaderton was desinherited by his Roman Catholic father for embracing Calvinism (P. 233).

15). Seven of the AV translators became Anglican bishops.

Now Riplinger's defenders will argue that these are all minor matters, but the point I am making is that Riplinger's thesis that all modern versions are tainted by the errors of their translators must, if applied consistently, apply also to the AV. If the lexical tools available today are flawed because they reference Attic Greek and the Greek classics, then the same goes for all Greek tools throughout history, including those used by the AV translators. If Hebrew scholars who appeal to the Arabic are condemned with their works - then so is the AV, with William Bedwell's lexicon and grammar.

One may arge cogently and coherently for the primacy of the Greek and Hebrew texts underlying the AV, and for the competence of the translation, but Riplinger's method only muddies the waters. For all its size, Hazardous Materials is a shallow book that can only be accepted by those who already hold the position of the author.

Once again let me point out that to disagree with Gail Riplinger is not to attack the AV, nor is this post an attack on the AV. The Authorized Version is a masterpiece of translation, and that is not in the least affected by the fact that one of its translators was a drunkard. I am a Calvinist myself, and so I do not view the fact that a man is a Calvinist as a bad thing - remember, my target is Gail Riplinger. My worry is that Riplinger, while intending to uphold the AV, may in fact be, all unawares, undermining it.

25 comments:

The Puritan said...

Your problem is what has occurred in the 400 years since the AV. God obviously, in his providence, has not produced a single new version based on the Masoretic and Received Text. And notice anytime a project begins with such an intent it wavers and ends up in the critical text camp (Holman Christian)?

And in those 400 years we have seen decline in scholarship, in believing scholarship, devolution in language resources, corruption and philosophical and heretical motivation for more corruption in such resources.

It's like attempting to make the case that Eugene O'Neill was a greater playwright than William Shakespeare. Or that Jean Genet was.

OK, so you say you 'respect' Shakespeare yet his language is too difficult. He must be made simpler. Now we are into issues other than manuscript and translation. We are into the fact that (the very representative critical text scholar) James White gives no evidence he has ever read a great novel, an epic poem, a classical historian, any work of higher literature in his life.

Your attempt to exalt the lot of modern scholars and translators by denigrating the AV translators will work in the vain, prideful and ignorant minds of the critical text scholars (the academic priethood) and their followers, but not with people who can see clearly.

Highland Host said...

FACTS, my friend. I am not seeking to denigrate the AV translators, except pssibly for Thomson, who was a drunken vicar. It wasn't Bedwell's fault that his wife was an adulteress, and Abbott paid a handsome pension to the widow of the man killed in his hunting accident. If you would rather believe the AV was let down from heaven on a string, or translated by a group of sinless perfect, so be it.

The NKJ is based on the Masoretic and Received texts. Unlike Shakespeare, the AV is a translation. I like it, but even I don't use the word 'Wot' in daily language. Now, what earthly reason is there that the word should not be changed to 'know' in the Bible?

Highland Host said...

PS. Can you tell me what difference it makes if my Bible has 'We do not know' instead of 'We wot not'?

White has quoted Robert Burns on his show. I do not know beyond that, but like most preachers I don't parade my erudition in the pulpit.

Ransom said...

The Puritan said:

James White gives no evidence he has ever read a great novel, an epic poem, a classical historian, any work of higher literature in his life.

If he did this with any regularity, you and your kind would trounce him for parading his book larnin' before the common man. You can't win for losing with you lot.

The Puritan said...

Why do you say the NKJV used the Masoretic? It didn't.

http://www.bible-researcher.com/nkjv.html

The Puritan said...

Ransom, the Christian academy is as vain as the secular academy. You can claim whatever you like, but a person who knows literature knows when a person has no such experience or knowledge or valuation for literature. It comes through. It's part of you.

Just as modern day Reformed academics say little to nothing about spiritual warfare. The Puritans knew spiritual warfare and wrote about it extensively. Modern day Reformed academics obviously are not provoking the world, the flesh, and the devil.

When you reside in Bunyan's Village of Morality you *are* the world, you are *at peace* with your inner Old Man, and the devil doesn't see you as a threat.

The Puritan said...

By the way, Highland Host, it is a *powerful* statement to point out that God in his providence has not had another Bible version made using the Hebrew Masoretic and the Greek Received Text. You saw the power in that fact and attempted to deflect it any way you could. Your statement was false, and the point stands. Deal with it. There is so much modern day Christians *refuse* to see. Why the rebellion? See what is going on around you. Be a warrior. Stop fearing and revering man. Fear God only, it is the beginning of wisdom.

Ransom said...

The Puritan said:

Ransom, the Christian academy is as vain as the secular academy.

and then said:

You can claim whatever you like, but a person who knows literature knows when a person has no such experience or knowledge or valuation for literature.

So on the one hand you criticize the "Christian academy" of vanity, then in the very next sentence you drop exactly the same kind of snobbery? LOL! What a fatuous blowhard.

The Puritan said...

Read closely: it's vanity to claim something you don't have (it's called pretension).

The other point is very obvious. When you know literature you know when someone else doesn't. It comes through. It becomes a part of you.

Why so dug in?

A Christian doesn't avoid higher influences (art, history, imaginative literature, science, philosophy, religion, music). A Christians isn't a dope either. This is part of this discussion of manuscripts and translation. When you have no discernment developed for literature you take a comic book and the Iliad at the *same level.* And you have no valuation for one manuscript source over another. You just don't see any difference. You have no discernment.

Ransom said...

A Christian doesn't avoid . . . imaginative literature

Well, I certainly get that from your posts, though I wouldn't call them "literature." You certainly do have a vivid imagination. Bless your heart.

Hiraeth said...

I agree that an appreciation of good books, great music, art and architecture is important. I also agree that discenment is important. So why defend Gail Riplinger, who produces poorly-written books, and whose historical knowledge in some places has not advanced beyond that of the nineteenth century?

There have to be better defenders of the King James Bible than a woman who thinks Calvinism is a heresy.

On Shakespeare, I agree, don't simplify the text, but teach its meaning. That's what we do in schools. However, if I were translating Shakespeare into, say, Turkish, should I use sixteenth-century Turkish? And should I ignore Shakespeare scholarship of the reputable kind?

Ransom said...

If Gail Riplinger were to advocate for the teaching of Shakespeare in classes, to be consistent, she would have to a) insist upon the 16th-century Turkish translation; b) completely discredit the study of Shakespeare in the original English; c) concoct wild theories about the moral turpitude of the publisher of the First Folios, and the sex lives of Noah Webster, Henry Fowler, and other English lexicographers; and d) promote the looniest fringe elements of the Shakespearean authorship controversy.

Yeah, that's some good "scholarship," all right.

The Puritan said...

Ransom, imaginative literature is a term to include not just prose fiction but lyric poetry, epic poety, drama...

The Puritan said...

>In Hazardous Materials as well as in New Age Bible Versions, the main argument Riplinger employs is to focus on the moral failings and spiritual errors of those associated with the works she is attacking.

This opening sentence slipped by me. This is completely wrong. First off you are using the term 'argument' for 'tactic.' Because her argument is the corruptions in the new versions based on underlying corrupt manuscripts. For the first book of hers you mention. The argument of HM is the leaven of poison that has been slipped in to language resources that influence modern day Bible scholars and translators.

Highland Host said...

Sorry, no-where in Hazardous Materials does Riplinger prove that any manuscripts are polluted, she assumes it. Instead page after page is taken up with moral accusations, and with accusations of heresy that could be used just as well against the AV, if one had not already assumed (not proven) that it is the standard. What is more, every argument she uses against modern Greek and Hebrew tools could have been used against the tools used by the AV translators - no-where does she argue that there has been a degeneration in the tools used. She also denies the continued preservation after the giving of the AV of the Bible in Greek and Hebrew.

All of which you would know if you'd read the book.

The Puritan said...

No, HH, you can't act as of NABV and In Awe of thy Word don't exist. I know her arguments. And interesting that you don't recognize any Standard for God's Word. This is what it comes down to: prideful fallen man demanding to make God's Word what he demands God's Word to be vs. receiving God's Word in humility and gratitude.

And I notice you havn't acknowledged that no modern version exists that is based on the Hebrew Masoretic and the Greek Received Text, and that projects that have started out to use them have *deviated.* You attempted to claim the NKJV was based on these manuscripts when it clearly isn't. In God's providence *only* the Authorized Version is translated from the Traditional Text. This is a telling and a powerful fact.

Highland Host said...

In 'Hazardous Materials', Riplinger approvingly cites a writer who says that the Greek should be corrected by the AV, that it is "more honouring to God's promises of preservation" to believe that the Greek has erred than that the AV translators did. This apparently makes Greek and Hevrew a moot point. Once again you pull out 'I've read her previous books' as if Riplinger's opinion is set in stone. People can become more extreme over time, you know.

If I was wrong about the NKJV, then I was wrong. Fine, unlike Riplinger I do not think I am infallible.

Where is the TR to be found today? Where is the Masoretic text?

The Puritan said...

Here is a good thread where Reformed Christians are discussing these various subjects:

http://www.puritanboard.com/f63/skepticism-doubt-toward-bible-52046/

Later down in the thread note where the subject of the Westminster divines belief that the TR is the preserved word of God comes up.

The Puritan said...

The Greek being corrected by the AV can mean disputes over variants. Yes, go with the AV. God preserves His word.

Highland Host said...

Sir, I don't have the time to go trawling through message boards. You tell me what you believe, put up or shut up.

More evasions will not impress me any more than Riplinger wandering all over the place in her long and rambling books. Yes, I said books, plural, just started NABV. It's harder to read, more rhyming couplets in prose. I hear she taught English at some point - I'd have hated to have been one of her students.

So if there's a textual variant, you use the AV to decide which is the correct reading, meaning that your final authority is a 17th century Anglican translation of the Bible into English. Your TR is the AV, your Masoretic text is the AV? Is this REALLY what you believe? Please tell me it isn't.

The Puritan said...

You forget it was you who queried where you might find some Reformed Christians who believed the WCF posited the TR as the preserved text.

The Puritan said...

>So if there's a textual variant, you use the AV to decide which is the correct reading, meaning that your final authority is a 17th century Anglican translation of the Bible into English. Your TR is the AV, your Masoretic text is the AV? Is this REALLY what you believe? Please tell me it isn't.

Yeah, we Christians are weird, aren't we? Embarrassing too. We believe in 'supernatural' things like that God created the heaven and the earth, and that God created man and woman whole in a 'supernatural' act. We also believe in angels, and that one spoke to Eve in the Garden. A fallen one. Yes, we believe in evil too. And spiritual warfare!

The Received Text (Masoretic and Texutus Receptus) is hardly in the same condition as your critical text regarding variations. And yes I believe the Holy Spirit guided the process of bringing the English Bible to its crown manifestation which is the AV1611. And, no, I don't believe the Romanists had 'better' manuscripts locked up in the bowels - rather filthy bowels - of their Vatican. Nor do I think 19th century liberal theologians 'found' a better manuscript. Call me a conservative non-progressive I guess. And, yes, I don't bow to wet, vain seminary boys with all of a year and a half of 'See it and Say it in Greek!' based on corrupt texts they don't have the discernment to smell the foul odor of and full of corrupted language resources they don't have the experience with language or literature to, again, smell the foul odor of.

The Puritan said...

Don't be afraid of that link I posted. You can learn from it from sound Reformed Christians.

Highland Host said...

My dear chap, are you actually claiming I'm not a Christian because I dare to disagree with Gail Riplinger? Your insistence that only those who have a good grounding in English literature are qualified to judge Greek texts borders on objectionable snobbery, and would no doubt get you kicked out of many an IFB church.

Obviously, as a Reformed Baptist minister, I believe in the supernatural. What I do not believe in is doctrine that cannot be demonstrated from the Bible. Riplinger's 'Seven infallible proofs of the inspiration of the King James Bible' are nothing of the sort. One is the fact that many more people use vernacular Bibles than use the Greek and Hebrew. Well, of course, more people don't speak Greek than do. But like her other arguments, this is simply a non sequitur. Apart from the numerology one, of course.

Will Kinney said...

"The trouble with this method is that, if followed consistently, it rebounds on the user, because all Bible versions are translated by sinners. Not only were the texts commonly called the Textus Receptus compiled by the Roman Catholic Erasmus and the Calvinists Beza and Stephanus (remember that it is Riplinger's position that is being engaged with), but the AV itself was produced by a committee of sinners."

Well, duh. If God cannot use sinners to give us His pure words of truth, then there never would have been those non-existent and never seen by you originals either.

Use your head.

Will Kinney