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Dr. Jeff Riddle reviews ‘…Matthew Barrett’s comments on problems with modern translations, with respect to the doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son, in his book Simply Trinity (Baker 2021), recently named by Christianity Today as a 2022 book of the year in the category of theology and ethics (read about it here).
Among other things, Barrett points out that in the twentieth century scholars “erased ‘only begotten’ from John’s corpus and replace this phrase with ‘only’ or ‘unique’ instead,” adding that due to this change “generations of Christians were never introduced to the concept of eternal generation” (186). He also announces, “that consensus is now changing, and fast” (187).
This illustrates the sometimes subtle (or not so subtle) theological problems that arise from modern texts and modern translations.
I also covered this issue in WM 207, reviewing part of a conversation between Barrett and Charles Lee Irons, and I did a text note on John 1:18 in WM 56.’http://www.jeffriddle.net/2022/01/wm-222-barrett-modern-translations.html
Dr. D. A. Waite is a defender of the Masoretic Hebrew and Received Greek texts of the Word of God. In a recent issue of the Dean Burgon Society News he wrote that;
‘It perplexes me to observe many saved believers who can not see the truth about the textual issue. The Bible states clearly that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16), which points to inerrancy and infallibility. The Bible also very directly states over and over again that Scripture is preserved. For example, Psalm 12:7 states, “Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever”, referring to Scripture. And again in John 10:35b, “..the scripture cannot be broken.” Also in 1 Peter 1:23, 25, Matthew 24:35, Isaiah 40:8, Psalm 119:89, and others. Not just Scripture in general, but the very Words of God. The Bible is very clear about this even in with some of the passages in many of the corrupt English versions. For example, the NIV cites Matthew 24:35 as, “ Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.“ This is very , very close to the KJB and is basically a good interpretation of the passage despite the many other flaws that the NIV embraces.
So why are the Critics blind about this issue? I think there are several reasons involved. One of them is that they are not led by the Holy Spirit on this issue and another is that some of them may not be saved at all. A big reason is that they were taught a certain way in seminary, as was I at Dallas Theological Seminary, many years ago. Many men, unfortunately, accept whatever they are taught without question. They never examine the issue with care. They never compare what they were taught with Scripture itself.
One crystal clear observation that they should make is that their favorite manuscripts, Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus, P75, and many others do not agree with one another. I am not just talking about spelling issues. They do not agree with one another with regard to good grammar, words missing or added, complete changes, complete passages removed, and in many other ways.
It is certainly possible, even likely, that God allowed for some occasional anomalies in His Word such as leaving out the Hebrew nun (נ) in Psalm 145, but there are also very good reasons for those anomalies. Sometimes, we know what they are and sometimes not, but what we do know is that God’s Word is inspired, inerrant, authoritative, sufficient, and preserved. It is because of this, that we may also know that His Word is NOT inconsistent. We can know false Scripture from true Scripture by its consistency and by whether it affects theology and doctrine in any way. The Critics “precious” manuscripts do not stand up in the face of scrutiny. They fail in many ways. Let’s keep to the traditional texts, which are preserved in the Masoretic and Received texts, which are the texts behind the King James Bible.’DBS Issue 121