Textual Criticism and Sola Scriptura

by Mike Ratliff

12 ζων γαρ ο λογος του θεου και ενεργης και τομωτερος υπερ πασαν μαχαιραν διστομον και διικνουμενος αχρι μερισμου ψυχης τε και πνευματος αρμων τε και μυελων και κριτικος ενθυμησεων και εννοιων καρδιας 13 και ουκ εστιν κτισις αφανης ενωπιον αυτου παντα δε γυμνα και τετραχηλισμενα τοις οφθαλμοις αυτου προς ον ημιν ο λογος. (Hebrews 4:12-13 Textus Receptus)

12 Ζῶν γὰρ ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ ἐνεργὴς καὶ τομώτερος ὑπὲρ πᾶσαν μάχαιραν δίστομον καὶ διϊκνούμενος ἄχρι μερισμοῦ ψυχῆς καὶ πνεύματος, ἁρμῶν τε καὶ μυελῶν, καὶ κριτικὸς ἐνθυμήσεων καὶ ἐννοιῶν καρδίας· 13 καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν κτίσις ἀφανὴς ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ, πάντα δὲ γυμνὰ καὶ τετραχηλισμένα τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς αὐτοῦ, πρὸς ὃν ἡμῖν ὁ λόγος. (Hebrews 4:12-13 NA28)

12 For the Word of God is living and effective and sharper than every doubled-edged sword and penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit, both of joints and marrow, and able to discern the thoughts and insights of the heart. 13 And there is not a creature hidden from before Him, but all things are bare and having been exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12-13 translated from the NA28 Greek text) 

12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two- edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12-13 ESV) 

12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight:but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. (Hebrews 4:12-13 KJV)

I suppose it is because I am a political conservative and a Christian that I am exposed (by email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other discussion media such as blogs and websites that my friends want me to see) at times to some very distressful and destructive behavior by adults who should really know better. Oh, I am not blaming my friends because what they are showing me are things that are disturbing to them as well. What causes me such grief in these things is what some of these people do and say in the name of Christ and claim they are attacking a fellow brother in Christ as if he is the seed of Satan to do service to God Himself. If they really thought that through I think it would expose their hypocrisy even to their hard hearts, but since they are spiritually blind, I doubt it. You see, we cannot do the work of our Lord using the tools of our enemy. Lying, stealing, killing, innuendo, slander, intimidation… you get the idea. Did Jesus ever do any of those things? Did he ever condone us doing any of those things?

Genuine Christians are to be bound to the truth, period! If you look at rules for commenting on this blog you will see that I do not allow any deceitful behavior here. If you have a problem with what I teach or what a brother or sister or me has said in a comment here and you want to comment about it, you have to follow those rules or your comment will never see the light of day. No backstabbing, no innuendo, no lying, no attempts to cast doubt when there is abundant truth to the contrary, no unfruitful arguing and no attempts to highjack my posts for your own benefit. Now, that being said, let’s begin.

I was contacted about the upcoming debate between Dr. James White and Chris Pinto. I can’t wait! If the debate is a real debate where rules are setup and followed then it will be very obvious to all with discernment that Dr. White is not the one casting shadows and with the secret agenda like Chris Pinto says, but instead, knows the truth and speaks the truth about one of his specialties, which is Biblical Textual Criticism. One of Chris Pinto’s latest films is titled “Tares Amongst the Wheat” and is supposed to be an exposition about the legitimacy of the Codex Sinaiticus and actually attempts to portray it and the whole textual criticism process as a conspiracy against Sola Scriptura.

Fred Butler works at Grace to You and is a graduate of The Master’s Seminary. He coordinates and directs the volunteer ministries for the GTY radio ministry. On his blog Hip and Thigh Fred has boldly taken on Chris Pinto and his attack on the credibility of Codex Sinaiticus. You can read his review of Pinto’s movie Tares Among The Wheat here.

As I said earlier a friend who wanted me to look at this approached me today with something Chris Pinto said on his radio show “The Noise of Thunder” on December 3rd. The title of the show was “The Character of Tischendorf.  “ Of course this is referring to Constantin von Tischendorf who is the German Biblical scholar who is most responsible for bring the Codex Sinaiticus into Biblical Scholarship. During the show he made the following comment about Dr. James White, “anyone who knows anything about Dr James White knows that he is a critical text philosopher/propagandist. That’s unavoidable. Unavoidable. And so naturally he takes a very hostile view to any material that would oppose his critical text philosophy. And our film is no exception.” – Chris Pinto (5:50-6:15)

That my brethren is called an ad hominem attack against the character of Dr. James White in an attempt to discredit him so that people will not believe his evidence when he completely discredits the conspiracy theory that Chris Pinto has concocted that the Jesuits have somehow come up with the Codex Sinaiticus, et cetera.

As I said earlier I do expect a post like this to rile up some people who worship the ground that Chris Pinto walks on, but I really do not care. The rules for commenting here on this post (all posts) is very clear.

Oh, by the way, look at the passages at the top of this post. One Greek passage is from the TR and the other is from the NA28. Other than the reference at the end, could you tell the difference? Look at the translations in the KJV, the ESV and my own translation. Don’t they all say the same thing, the truth?

Soli Deo Gloria

4 thoughts on “Textual Criticism and Sola Scriptura

  1. Not having heard of nor heard Mr. Pinto’, I can only reflect upon him through your words. Nor have I heard of Dr. White. But, all that aside for a moment, I wonder what entitles Mr. Pinto to ‘slash out’ at others like that. Has he been given superiour knowledge? Has he special training on the Codex that he feels justified in attacking it? It seems to me that an open mic, one sided debate does nothing for the ‘problem. I would much prefer an open debate with the two of them facing each other in a public forum. I won’t say who is right or who is full of beans (Pinto?) but his methods are NOT indicative of proper discourse to resolve this issue, if there even is an issue. The man bears watching, friends.

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