What NA28 May Mean For the Future of Reasoned Eclecticism

DBWallaceNT manuscript guru Dan Wallace recently wrote at his blog on the newest edition of the critical text of the Greek New Testament, “Nestle-Aland 28: The New Standard in Critical Texts of the Greek New Testament.” There was a lot of interest there, but a few things stood out.

As INTF [Ed. – Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung in Münster] worked through the Catholic letters, they came to see much greater value of the Byzantine manuscripts than they had previously. In Wachtel’s presentation, he noted that the NA27 displayed “prejudice against the Byzantine tradition” while the NA28 recognized the “reliability of the mainstream tradition.” This is a welcome change in perspective, made possible because of exhaustive collations.

The changes are so great that the apparatus symbols will change as well, from a gothic “M” to “Byz.” Wallace calls it a “sea change” in Münster for how the text is approached.

Secondly, Wallace says “a step back” has been taken in the editorial process.

The previous edition was edited by three Protestants (Kurt Aland, Barbara Aland, Bruce Metzger), one Roman Catholic (Carlo Martini), and one Greek Orthodox scholar (Ioannes Karavidopoulos). The latest edition lists as its editors only “the Institute for New Testament Textual Research… under the direction of Holger Strutwolf.” … the final decisions about the text are solely in the hands of Münster.

No ecclesiastical information was listed, and it sounds like there is a fairly firm bottleneck in the final decision making process. Textual scholars would be able to say if this is typical or a departure from the norm, but Wallace noted it as a step back.

So then, on come the questions.

  1. Is this a change in reaffirming the role of the Byzantine, Majority text? (See Wallace’s article for some redefinition of what “Majority/Majorities Text” will mean going forward.) Is this a step toward bringing Received Text and Critical Text proponents together?
  2. Continue reading

How to Preach Christ from the OT

I’m working through sections of Sidney Greidanus’ Preaching Christ from Genesis: Foundations for Expository Sermons for a sermon series coming up on Abraham’s life in Genesis 12 – 25. I’ve looked at preaching Christ from the OT before, but never explicitly from Greidanus. He presents seven means by which we can see Christ in OT passages, and I’d like to list those below. Greidanus defines preaching Christ as “preaching sermons which authentically integrate the message of the text with the climax of God’s revelation in the person, work, and/or teachings of Jesus Christ as revealed in the New Testament” (Preaching Christ from the Old Testament, 10).

Greidanus presents seven avenues to get to Christ from a text, and this is necessary if the interpreter is seeking to understand the text first, as the writer intended for Israel (or the original audience) to hear the message; and secondly, as the message is understood in light of the completed canon of the Triune God’s self-revelation to His covenant people. When both are recognized as necessary, the interpreter realizes seeing Christ in light of a passage isn’t an add on, but necessary to understanding the fullest and truest meaning of a pericope.

7 Ways of Preaching Christ

The following comes from pp. 2-6.

Redemptive Historical Progression
Scripture is a narrative that begins with a good creation, is abruptly marred by the Fall, and then traces God’s redemptive purposes in human history to bring about redemption and the New Creation. First through Abraham, and then Israel, the story of redemption climaxes and is focused in the advent of Jesus Christ. This method seeks to understand a pericope in light of this “metanarrative.” Continue reading

The Problem with Most Bible Studies

You know that feeling you get when someone perfectly describes something you have witnessed or seen dozens of times, but never been able to articulate yourself? I had that feeling as I listened to Christian Smith describe the average, American Evangelical Bible study. The following quote is taken from an interview at The White Horse Inn:

Basically, what gets reported [by anthropologists studying evangelical Bible studies], and what I think I agree with, is:
The text is read, umm… what the text actually says is not all that much paid attention to. People, rather, sort of search around in their heads and their memories and their feelings for something that seems to connect to the text. And then, they conclude, “Oh yeah, well that makes me feel like this…” or, “What I think is that…” or, “In my opinion what it means is this…” And usually, the text is serving as a pretext to affirm something they already believe, rather than as an authoritative text to challenge what they already believe.

Nailed it.

Reformation Day Lesson 2011: Standing Firm in the Faith to the End

Things have been pretty busy for myself, my church, and my family lately, so I doubt I’ll put up the whole text from our Reformation Day festivities at church, but what follows is the outline for Reformation Day conference that encouraged us to stand firm in the faith. May we all stand firm in the power He provides. “Our hope is in no other save in Thee / Our faith is built upon Thy promise free / Oh grant to us such stronger help and sure / That we can boldly conquer and endure.”

Standing Firm in the Faith
I. Introduction
A. How Scripture Exhorts Us to Stand Firm
1. And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. (Exodus 14:13)
2. For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)
3. Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. (Philippians 4:1)
4. But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits1 to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:13-17)
5. I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. (1 Peter 5:12)

B. How the Reformation Exhorts Us to Stand Firm

II. The Uniqueness of the Protestant Reformation
A. The General Consensus on the Need for Reforming the Church
B. Previous Reformation Attempts
C. What Was Unique About the Protestant Reformation

  1. Creeds vs Deeds
  2. Reformation vs Revolution
  3. New Technology – the Gutenberg Press
  4. Continue reading

Headline: Reformation Day 2011

Featured

Reformation Day Worship Service

As a congregation that stands proudly in the tradition of the Protestant Reformation, we are grateful for an opportunity to remember God’s gracious kindness to His Church around the anniversary of the Reformation. On the Sunday closest to October 31, the day history tells us Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses to a church door in Wittenburg, Germany, we pay special attention the details of the Reformation.

Our worship service will take special care to reflect the liturgies of the Reformed tradition of Christianity, especially in the songs and arrangement of psalms that came out of this historical era. Then, be sure to join us later… Continue reading at Zion Ev & Reformed Church…

Reformation Day Liturgy

Order for the Divine Service on Reformation Sunday While the entire liturgy is largely based off of Calvin’s post-Strasbourg order, especially the Call to Worship from Psalm 121 reflects this influence. For more on how Calvin was affected by Bucer and Strasbourg, see Charles Baird The Presbyterian Liturgies. Continue reading Reformation Day Liturgy…

Reformation Day Sermon

I John 4:7 – 21 “The Effects of God’s Love”

Reformation Day Lesson: Standing Firm with Luther, Zwingli and Calvin

Things have been pretty busy for myself, my church, and my family lately, so I doubt I’ll put up the whole text from our Reformation Day festivities at church, but what follows is the outline for Reformation Day conference that encouraged us to stand firm in the faith. May we all stand firm in the power He provides. “Our hope is in no other save in Thee / Our faith is built upon Thy promise free / Oh grant to us such stronger help and sure / That we can boldly conquer and endure.”

Standing Firm in the Faith
I. Introduction
A. How Scripture Exhorts Us to Stand Firm Continue Reading “Standing Firm in the Faith to the End…”

 

Robert Farrar Capon:

“The Reformation was a time when men went blind, staggering drunk because they had discovered, in the dusty basement of late medievalism, a whole cellar of 1500-year-old, 200 proof grace—a bottle after bottle of pure distillate of Scripture, one sip of which would convince anyone that God saves us single-handedly. The word of the gospel—after all these centuries of trying to lift yourself into heaven by worrying about the perfection of your own bootstraps—suddenly turned out to be a flat announcement that the saved were home-free before they started. Grace was to be drunk neat: no water, no ice, and certainly no ginger ale.”

Authorship of Job

I’m preparing to do a class at church on what we believe about the Bible, and I hope to address some of the issues Christians face today regarding inerrancy, infallibility, and the role God’s Word should have in our daily life. There are few better on the nature of Scripture than John Owen.

Owen (1616 – 1683) broke new ground on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in his Pneumatologia (1693). One distinction he made was between prophecy in general and the inspiration of Scripture to the prophets. “The writing of Scripture was another effect of the Holy Ghost, which had its beginning under the Old Testament. I reckon this as a distinct gift from prophecy in general, or rather, a distinct species or kind of prophecy…”

Owen notes:

Now this ministry was first committed unto Moses, who, besides the five books of the Law, probably also wrote the story of Job. Many prophets there were before him, but he was the fist who committed the will of God to writing after God himself, who wrote the law in tables of stone; which was the beginning and pattern of the Scriptures.

(All quotes from Owen in Works, III.143).

Hywel Jones notes that, prior to the modern period, most followed a reference in the Jewish Talmud to Moses’ authorship of Job (Baba Bathra, 14). However, this should be “balanced by the fact that the book was placed in the third section of the Hebrew Bible because of its acknowledged anonymity” (Jones, A Study Commentary on Job [Evangelical Press, 2007] 18).