Since the 1990s How Has Lower (Textual) Criticism Has Begun Following in the Footsteps of Higher (Biblical) Criticism?

“AS THE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARIES GO, SO GOES THE CHURCH”—J. Gresham Machen—The Christian Faith in the Modern World, p. 65

THREE MAJOR INFLUENCES [Changing the Definition of Textual Criticism]

Bart Ehrman’s Orthodox Corruption of Scripture (1993): early traditions are as important as recovering the original wording. We should not privilege the autographs.

David Parker’s Living Text of the Gospels (1997): “Textual criticism is, in essence, the act of understanding what another person means by the words that are laid before me.” [This is nothing more than the reader-response theory of higher criticism, wherein the meaning of a text is not derived from the words but rather from the reader. Thus, a text can have many meanings, which is dependent upon each reader to determine. – Edward D. Andrews]

Eldon Epp’s “The Multivalence of the Term ‘Original Text’ In New Testament Textual Criticism,” HTR 92 (1999) 245-81. [1]

Edward D. Andrews
EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored over 140 books. Andrews is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV).

A few paragraphs to offer the reader an overview of how dangerous Higher Criticism (Biblical Criticism).

World-renowned Bible scholars, such as Robert L. Thomas, the late Norman L. Geisler, Gleason L. Archer, F. David Farnell, and the late Gleason L. Archer Jr., among many others, have fought for decades to educate readers about the dangers of higher criticism.

NT textual scholar Tischendorf was a world-leading 19th biblical scholar who rejected higher criticism, which led to his noteworthy success in defending the authenticity of the Bible text. Tischendorf was educated in Greek at the University of Leipzig. During his university studies, he was troubled by higher criticism of the Bible, as taught by famous German theologians, who sought to prove that the Greek New Testament was not authentic.

The Reading Culture of Early Christianity From Spoken Words to Sacred Texts 400,000 Textual Variants 02

NT Textual scholar Harold Greenlee writes, “This “higher criticism” has often been applied to the Bible in a destructive way, and it has come to be looked down on by many evangelical Christians.” Greenlee, J. Harold. The Text of the New Testament: From Manuscript to Modern Edition (p. 2). Baker Publishing Group.

Higher critics have taught that much of the Bible was composed of legend and myth. They have claimed that Moses did not write the first five books of the Bible, 8th-century B.C.E. Isaiah did not write Isaiah, there were three authors of Isaiah, and 6th-century B.C.E. Daniel did not write Daniel, it was written in the 2nd century BCE.

Higher critics have taught that Jesus did not say all that he said in his Sermon on the Mount and that Jesus did not condemn the Pharisees in Matthew 23, as this was Matthew because he hated the Jews. These are just the highlights, for there are thousands of tweaks that have undermined the word of God as being inspired and fully inerrant.

The P52 PROJECT THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS 4th ed. MISREPRESENTING JESUS

Higher critics have dissected the Word of God until it has become the word of man and a very jumbled word at that. Higher criticism is still taught in almost all of the seminaries around the world, and it is quite common to hear so-called Evangelical Bible scholars publicly deny that large sections of the Bible as fully inerrant, authentic, and true. Biblical higher criticism is speculative and tentative in the extreme.

This fits with the recent words of textual scholar Daniel B. Wallace’s in MYTHS AND MISTAKES In New Testament Textual Criticism, where he said: “The new generation of evangelical scholars is far more comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty than previous generations.” (Page xii)

Craig Evans says Jesus did not say the I AM STATEMENTS IN JOHN’S GOSPEL:

(1) I am the Bread of Life (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51)
(2) I am the Light of the World (John 8:12)
(3) I am the Door of the Sheep (John 10:7, 9)
(4) I am the Good Shepherd (10:11, 14)
(5) I am the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25)
(6) I am the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6)
(7) I am the True Vine (John 15:1, 5)

After four centuries, higher critics with their higher criticism have ousted the Bible from its earlier status as the fully inerrant, inspired Word of God? Higher criticism has opened the flood gates to pseudo-scholarly works, which has resulted in undermining Christians’ confidence in the Bible. There is utterly no substantial evidence for the claims made by higher critics.

APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot APOSTOLIC FATHERS

Supporters of higher criticism say, “just because some have gone too far, or some have abused the method, this does not negate the benefits of using it.” Recently, textual scholar Daniel B. Wallace commented that there is a “little [saying] about the three countries that do biblical studies: Germany, Britain, and the United States. It has to do with new views, new theories, and new hypotheses about all sorts of issues. ‘the Germans create it, the British correct it, and the Americans corrupt it.,’ which I think is pretty accurate.”[2] The gist of what Wallace was saying is this, the Germans scholars created a new way of interpreting the Scriptures that cast doubt on God’s Word, the British scholars improved it to the point of being useful, and then American scholars corrupted it. This could not be further from the truth. The Americans could not damage something that was already damaged. The Germans and the French scholars of the late 16th-19th centuries are the forefathers of the enormously destructive higher criticism, which was adopted by the rest of Europe. In the 19th-20th centuries, American Bible scholars latched onto this poisonous subjective historical-critical method of biblical interpretation like a baby going for his mother’s milk.

9781949586121 BIBLE DIFFICULTIES THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS

People listen to that foreboding feeling in the back of your mind. Or, the higher critic might argue, “you can take the good parts of higher criticism and leave the parts that undermine the Bible.” This is like saying, “you can remove the 75% poison from the water before drinking it, trust me.” There is a way to remove the bad parts for sure, entirely abandon what is known as the subjective historical-critical method of interpretation, and return to the old objective historical-grammatical method of biblical interpretation.

[1] Retrieved on March 25, 2020 [3:30 – 11:00] – https://www.biblicaltraining.org/textual-criticism/goals
[2] Retrieved on March 25, 2020 – https://www.biblicaltraining.org/textual-criticism/goals

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