THE MODERN TEXTS AND VERSIONS HAVE PRODUCED THE FRUIT OF THEOLOGICAL MODERNISM
June 21, 2005 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org) -
The association between the modern textual criticism that created the modern Bible versions and theological modernism can be established, as follows:
Consider, first, the warning from Scripture. The following verses establish an association between affiliating with heresy and being infected by heresy: Rom. 16:17-18; 1 Cor. 15:33; Gal. 5:9; 2 Tim. 2:16-17. These Scriptures have been ignored by the New Evangelicals who renounced “separatism” since the days of Harold Ockenga in the late 1940s, and the result has been the leavening of evangelical scholarship with theological modernism. Contrary to the command of Scripture to separate from heretics, New Evangelicals sit at the feet of theological modernists by studying their books and pursuing degrees at liberal institutions, even studying at theological institutions in Germany, the very seat of modernism.
Consider the warning from Dr. Edward F. Hills. Having studied textual criticism at the graduate level (having obtained a doctorate in this field from Harvard), Hills made the following observation: “... THE LOGIC OF NATURALISTIC TEXTUAL CRITICISM LEADS TO COMPLETE MODERNISM, to a naturalistic view not only of the biblical text but also of the Bible as a whole and of the Christian faith. For if it is right to ignore the providential preservation of the Scriptures in the study of the New Testament text, why isn’t it right to go farther in the same direction? Why isn’t it right to ignore other divine aspects of the Bible? Why isn’t it right to ignore the divine inspiration of the Scriptures when discussing the authenticity of the Gospel of John or the Synoptic problem or the authorship of the Pentateuch? ... IMPELLED BY THIS REMORSELESS LOGIC, MANY AN ERSTWHILE CONSERVATIVE BIBLE STUDENT HAS BECOME ENTIRELY MODERNISTIC IN HIS THINKING. But he does not acknowledge that he has departed from the Christian faith. For from his point of view he has not. He has merely traveled farther down the same path which he began to tread when first he studied naturalistic textual criticism of the Westcott and Hort type, perhaps at some conservative theological seminary. From his point of view his orthodox former professors are curiously inconsistent. They use the naturalistic method in the area of New Testament textual criticism and then drop it most illogically, like something too hot to handle, when they come to other departments of biblical study” (Hills, The King James Version Defended, 4th edition, p. 83).
Consider the warning from Dr. Thomas Strouse, Dean of Emmanuel Baptist Theological Seminary, Newington, Connecticut. “THE FRUIT OF THE WESTCOTT-HORT TEXTUAL CRITICISM THEORY IS BIBLIOLOGICAL HERESY. The fruit of this theory not only culminates in a false doctrine of preservation, but it also ends up in the modernist view of errancy in the autographa. For instance, Bruce Metzger advocates that Matthew incorporated errors in his royal genealogy of Christ (Bruce Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. [NY: United Bible Societies, 1975], p. 1)” (Strouse, “The Pauline Antidote for Christians Caught in Theological Heresy: An Examination and Application of 2 Timothy 2:24-26,” Emmanuel Baptist Theological Seminary, Newington, CT, 2001).
Consider the inadvertent warning of a modernistic textual critic. The theological danger inherent within the practice of textual criticism was admitted from the liberal side by E. Jay Epps of Harvard Divinity School: “Nor (for those who choose to work within a theological framework) is textual criticism a ‘safe’ discipline -- a phrase I have heard for four decades -- that can be practiced without challenge to theological convictions or without risk to faith commitments or truth assertions. I DOUBT THAT IT EVER WAS ‘SAFE’ -- AT LEAST FOR ANY WHO HAVE THOUGHT THROUGH THE IMPLICATIONS OF OUR MYRIAD VARIATION UNITS, WITH THEIR INNUMERABLE COMPETING READINGS AND CONCEPTIONS, AS WELL AS THE THEOLOGICAL MOTIVATIONS THAT ARE EVIDENT IN SO MANY. BUT IF IT HAS BEEN A ‘SAFE’ DISCIPLINE, IT IS SAFE NO MORE. ... Any who embrace it as a vocation will find its intellectual challenges to have been increased a hundredfold by its enlarged boundaries and broadened horizons, which extend into codicology and papyrology and also into related early Christian, classical, literary, and sociological fields, all of which favor accommodation of the richness of the manuscript tradition, WITH ITS MULTIPLICITY OF TEXTS AND ITS MULTIVALENT ORIGINALS, RATHER THAN THE MYOPIC QUEST FOR A SINGLE ORIGINAL TEXT. Both broad training and knowledge, and A CAPACITY TO TOLERATE AMBIGUITY will be high on the list of requisite qualifications for its practitioners” (E. Jay Epps, “The Multivalence of the Term ‘Original Text’ In New Testament Textual Criticism,” Harvard Theological Review, 1999, Vol. 92, No. 3, pp. 245-281; this article is based on a paper presented at the New Testament Textual Criticism Section, Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida, November 1998).
EXAMPLES OF THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN MODERN TEXTUAL CRITICISM AND THEOLOGICAL MODERNISM
1. EVERY DENOMINATION AND ORGANIZATION THAT HAS ADOPTED TEXTUAL CRITICISM HAS ULTIMATELY DESCENDED INTO THEOLOGICAL MODERNISM.
We see this by contrasting the British & Foreign Bible Society (BFBS) with the Trinitarian Bible Society (TBS).
The BFBS adopted textual criticism in the second half of the 19th century and today is permeated with modernism. For example, the BFBS produced the New English Bible. The New Testament portion was published in 1961, and the entire Bible, in 1970. The director, Charles H. Dodd (1884-1973), was also a vice-president of the BFBS. The following quotations from Dodd’s books demonstrate the theological modernism that has permeated this Bible Society:
“The Bible itself does not make any claim to infallible authority for all its parts...” (Dodd, Library of Constructive Theology, p. 15).
“It long ago became clear that in claiming for the Bible accuracy in matters of science and history its apologists had chosen a hopeless position to defend” (Dodd, Library of Constructive Theology, p. 13).
“GOD IS THE AUTHOR, NOT OF THE BIBLE, but of the life in which the authors of the Bible partake, and of which they tell us such IMPERFECT HUMAN WORDS as they could command” (Dodd, Library of Constructive Theology, p. 16).
“[MOSES] WAS A MAGICIAN, a medicine man, whose magic wand wrought wonders of deliverance and destruction. ... To separate history from LEGEND in the stories of his career is impossible and not very profitable” (Dodd, Library of Constructive Theology, p. 45).
“In the ninth century B.C. JEHOVAH IS STILL CRUEL, CAPRICIOUS, IRRITABLE, UNJUST (by human standards of justice), AND UNTRUTHFUL. The prophets of the classical period brought the overdue advance in ideas of Jehovah’s character. The prophets’ remoulding of the idea of God is indeed, as we must frankly confess, partial” (Dodd, Library of Constructive Theology, p. 98).
“No one not BLINDED BY SUPERSTITIOUS BIBLIOLATRY could possibly accept for truth, as they stand, many elements in Old Testament prophecy” (Dodd, Library of Constructive Theology, p. 127).
“INSPIRATION DOES NOT CARRY INERRANCY, nor is it inerrancy that gives authority” (Dodd, Library of Constructive Theology, p. 129).
“Certainly THE PROPHETS WERE SOMETIMES MISTAKEN. That is why it behooves us to let them speak for themselves, with eyes open to the element of error in their teaching” (Dodd, Library of Constructive Theology, p. 128).
“There are SAYINGS [OF JESUS] (not many indeed) WHICH EITHER SIMPLY ARE NOT TRUE, in their plain meaning, or are unacceptable to the conscience or reason of Christian people” (Dodd, Library of Constructive Theology, p. 233).
“The famous ‘whale’ or sea monster, is no zoological specimen. The ancient monster of chaos, the dragon of darkness, was a familiar figure in several MYTHOLOGIES of the ancient world ... When the Gospel of Matthew uses the story of Jonah as a symbol of resurrection from the dead, it is not very far from the original intention of the MYTH” (Dodd, The Bible Today, Cambridge: University Press, 1960, p. 17).
“If Isaiah says, ‘I saw the Lord,’ Paul also says, ‘Have not I seen the Lord?’ ... The implication is that THE DISCIPLES’ POST-RESURRECTION MEETINGS WITH OUR LORD MAY HAVE BEEN ‘VISIONARY’” (Dodd, The Bible Today, p. 102).
“Creation, the Fall of Man, the Deluge and the Building of Babel are symbolic MYTHS” (Dodd, The Bible Today, p. 112).
“As every human being lies under God’s judgment, so EVERY HUMAN BEING IS ULTIMATELY DESTINED, IN HIS MERCY, TO ETERNAL LIFE” (Dodd, The Bible Today, p. 118).
“The strange LEGEND of the destruction of the cities of the plain has its vital centre in Abraham’s encounter with God” (Dodd, The Bible Today, p. 150).
“For indeed THE BARE IDEA OF VICARIOUS EXPIATION [THE SUBSTITUTIONARY DEATH OF CHRIST IN THE PLACE OF SINNERS] IS NOT WHOLLY RATIONAL, and easily lends itself to fanaticism. After all, if God demands the suffering of one in order that the sins of others may be forgiven, a meaning is found for suffering, but at the expense of the rationality of God for which the prophets contended so vigorously” (Dodd, The Authority of the Bible, p. 215).
On the other hand THE TRINITARIAN BIBLE SOCIETY (TBS), which was also formed in the early 19th century, has resisted modern textual criticism and has remained true to its orthodox Protestant heritage. It is still defending the virgin birth, deity, miracles, atonement, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ; salvation by grace; the Trinity; Biblical inerrancy. It is still separated from the Roman Catholic Church and does not participate in ecumenical translation projects.
2. THIS LEAVEN IS AT WORK TODAY WITHIN EVANGELICAL AND FUNDAMENTALIST SEMINARIES THAT HAVE ADOPTED MODERN TEXTUAL CRITICISM. CONSIDER SOME EXAMPLES:
TRINITY EVANGELICAL DIVINITY SCHOOL
Trinity professor D.A. Carson has written an influential book on the Bible version issue called “The King James Version Debate: A Plea for Realism.” This book has wielded considerable influence within fundamentalist circles, yet this “evangelical” author has been dramatically influenced by theological modernism in regard to the text of Scripture.
Carson has adopted some of the Inclusive Language translation techniques (The Inclusive Language Debate, Baker Books, 1998).
Carson states that it is O.K. to change the singular pronouns of John 14:23 to plural. This is what the inclusive language NIVI (New International Version Inclusive, published by Hodder and Stoughton in 1996) does. It reads, “Those who love me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” Carson supports that. Carson defends many such inclusive language perversions.
He says it is O.K. for the NIVI to change “brother” in Matthew 5:22 to “brother or sister.” He says, in fact, that this is “preferable.”
He supports the NIVI reading in John 11:50 and 1 Corinthians 15:21, which changes “man” to “human being,” even though both passages speak of Christ’s death.
He also defends the NIVI translation of Revelation 3:20, which changes the singular pronoun “eat with HIM” to the plural “eat with THEM,” thus destroying the lovely personal aspect of Christ’s promise.
He discusses the changes in Psalm 8:4 from “what is man” to “what are mere mortals” and “the son of man” to “human beings.” Even though this destroys a Messianic prophecy, Carson argues, “I am not convinced that those critics are right who say that terrible damage has been done by inclusive-language translations of this passage because they have somehow squeezed Christ to the periphery.”
All of this is an acquiescence to theological modernism and is a denial of verbal inspiration.
Carson has adopted Form or Redaction Criticism of the Gospels.
Consider another statement from Carson: “Moreover, many of the assumptions on which form criticism is based appear to be valid: there was indeed a period of mainly oral transmission of the gospel materials; much of it was probably in small units; there probably was a tendency for this material to take on certain standard forms; and the early church has undoubtedly influenced the way in which this material was handed down. Defined narrowly in this way, there is undoubtedly a place for form criticism in the study of the Gospels” (D.A. Carson, Douglas Moo, Leon Morris, An Introduction to the New Testament, 1992, pp. 23, 24). In fact, there is no scriptural validity for any of these assumptions, and all of them fly in the face of divine inspiration. To say that the “early church has undoubtedly influenced the way in which this material was handed down” is a plain rejection of the doctrine of divine inspiration. Either the Gospels were written by inspiration of the Holy Spirit or they were written by natural processes. There can be no middle ground for a believer. The Lord Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would guide the disciples into all truth (John 16:13) and 2 Timothy 3:16 states that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God. That settles the matter. Whether or not the authors of the Gospels used some secondary sources is a meaningless question for the believer. If they did use secondary sources, we will never know what they were. God has not chosen to reveal that to us, so it is insignificant. All we need to know is that the Holy Spirit gave the Gospels. It is our duty to study those Gospels believingly and preach them to the whole world instead of pursuing the vain path of wasting countless hours trying to ascertain whether there was a document called “Q” or whether Matthew might have borrowed something from Mark or Mark from Matthew, etc.
Carson claims that in the Gospels we do not have the actual words of Jesus but only a semblance of what Jesus said. “But their failure to preserve the ipsissima verba Jesu (the authentic WORDS of Jesus) does not mean that they have tampered with the ipsisima vox Jesu (the authentic VOICE of Jesus)” (D.A. Carson, Douglas Moo, Leon Morris, An Introduction to the New Testament, 1992, p. 44). This is the old modernistic argument that the Gospels give only a semblance of what Christ said rather than His actual words. And it a repetition of the modernistic mumbo-jumbo that the Bible is somehow authoritative even though it is not verbally inerrant.
DALLAS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
Dallas Professor Daniel Wallace supports the redaction approach to the Gospels, that the Gospels were written not by direct inspiration of God but by copying material from secondary sources, thereby denying the inspiration of Scripture by the Holy Spirit as taught by Christ and the Apostles. Wallace’s 35-page report called “The Synoptic Problem,” which was published on the Internet, is largely a review of Robert H. Stein’s “The Synoptic Problem: An Introduction.” (Stein is a professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.)
Note carefully the following excerpts from Wallace’s report:
“It is quite impossible to hold that the three synoptic gospels were completely independent from each other. In the least, they had to have shared a common oral tradition. But the vast bulk of NT scholars today would argue for much more than that.” (Wallace, The Synoptic Problem, p. 1). To the contrary, the proponents of Redaction Criticism have not proved this point, nor can they.
“We shall see later that before the Gospels were written there did exist a period in which the gospel materials were passed on orally, and it is clear that this oral tradition influenced not only the first of our synoptic Gospels but the subsequent ones as well” (Wallace, The Synoptic Problem, p. 4). This is modernistic nonsense. It is clear from the Epistles that the authors of the New Testament were in the habit of writing and there is no evidence whatsoever that the Gospels were passed along orally prior to being written down.
“The majority of NT scholars hold to Markan priority [Mark was written first and then Matthew and Luke based their gospels upon it] (either the two-source hypothesis of Holtzmann or the four-source hypothesis of Streeter). This is the view adopted in this paper as well” (Wallace, The Synoptic Problem, p. 6). The Gospel writers had no reason to borrow from one another, because each one was written for a different purpose, to fulfill the divinely inspired four-fold portrait of Christ.
“One argument concerning Mark’s harder readings which has been (as far as I can tell) completely overlooked is the probability that neither Luke nor Matthew had pristine copies of Mark at their disposal. . . . An intermediate scribe is probably responsible--either intentionally or unintentionally--for more than a few of the changes which ended up in Luke and Matthew” (Wallace, The Synoptic Problem, footnote 49). What a haphazard view of the Gospels! It flies in the face of divine inspiration.
“Matthew and Luke have in common about 235 verses not found in Mark. . . . Only two viable reasons for such parallels can be given: either one gospel writer knew and used the gospel of the other, or both used a common source” (Wallace, The Synoptic Problem, p. 19). The Dallas professor is wrong. There is a third “viable reason,” and that is that each Gospel was given by divine inspiration and the material unique to each one as well as the material shared in common was selected by the Holy Spirit.
BOB JONES UNIVERSITY
It is not surprising that heretical views of Scripture are beginning to infiltrate some fundamentalist training institutions, inasmuch as they are sitting at the feet of theological modernists and modernistic-influenced New Evangelicals by using textbooks written by men such as Bruce Metzger, Kurt Aland, and the aforementioned D.A. Carson and Daniel Wallace. Fundamentalist professors are also going after degrees from institutions such as Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Dallas Theological Seminary.
Consider what is happening in regard to the doctrine of biblical preservation at Bob Jones University. On a visit to the bookstore in March 2005 I saw at least five books for sale by the liberal Bruce Metzger who believes that the Old Testament is filled with myth, including his book The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, which by its very title denies the divine preservation of Scripture.
Samuel Schnaiter is on the Bible faculty at Bob Jones University. His 1980 Ph.D. dissertation was titled “The Relevancy of Textual Criticism to the Modern English Version Controversy for Fundamentalists.”
Consider an excerpt: “With regard to preservation, however, no Scripture explicitly declares anything of this sort of guidance to apply to the manuscript copyists as far as the precise wording of the text is concerned. Some have deduced such supernatural guidance from Scripture. They note passages that promise God’s Word shall never perish or be lost. However, SUCH PROMISES OF PRESERVATION IN VIEW OF THE WORDING VARIATIONS MUST APPLY ONLY TO THE MESSAGE OF GOD’S WORD, NOT ITS PRECISE WORDING” (Schnaiter, Relevancy of Textual Criticism, 1980).
Schnaiter makes two bold claims: (1) He asserts that the Bible nowhere explicitly promises divine verbal preservation of the Scriptures. We reject this claim entirely, as we can read the Bible for ourselves and we know that it does make explicit promises of the preservation not only of words but even of jots and tittles. (2) Schnaiter asserts that IF there has been divine preservation of the Scriptures (and he does not affirm plainly that he believes such preservation has occurred), it has not been of the actual words God gave to holy men of old but only of the general MESSAGE. Schnaiter believes in verbal inspiration of “the original manuscripts” but he believes only in the preservation of the general thoughts of Scripture.
The authors of the ancient confessions of faith would strongly disagree with this fundamentalist professor. “The Old Testament in Hebrew . . . and the New Testament in Greek . . . being immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so as in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them” (Westminster Confession of Faith, 1648). This same blessed statement on preservation was affirmed by Baptists in the London Confession of 1677 and the Philadelphia of 1742. Men of God in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries believed in divine preservation AS IT APPLIED TO THE SCRIPTURES THEY POSSESSED IN THE MASORETIC HEBREW AND THE GREEK RECEIVED TEXT.
Those scholarly fundamentalists today who are following modern textual criticism are abandoning the faith of their fathers, yet they mock and belittle those fundamentalists who are standing in the old paths in this issue as it was defined in the ancient confessions.
Dr. Edward F. Hills observed that the doctrine of preservation cannot be nebulous; it is either a real thing that can be traced through history and that is therefore foundational for textual studies, or it cannot be regarded as a fact. Reasonably speaking and scripturally speaking, there is no middle ground. “For if the providential preservation of the Scriptures was not important for the study of the New Testament text, then it could not have been important for the history of the New Testament text. And if it had not been important for the history of the New Testament, then it must have been non-existent. It could not have been a fact. And if the providential preservation of the Scriptures was not a fact, why should the infallible inspiration of the Scriptures be regarded as a fact? Why would God infallibly inspire a book and then decline to preserve it providentially? For example, why would God infallibly inspire the Gospel of Mark and then permit (as Warfield thought possible) the ending of it (describing the resurrection appearances of Christ) to be lost?”
CENTRAL BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
W. Edward Glenny, who taught at Central prior to his move to another school, contributed to The Bible Version Debate: The Perspective of Central Baptist Theological Seminary (1997). Glenny’s article is titled “The Preservation of Scripture.”
Consider the following excerpt: “The doctrine of the preservation of Scripture was first included in a church creed in 1647. As we have argued above IT IS NOT A DOCTRINE THAT IS EXPLICITLY TAUGHT IN SCRIPTURE, nor is it the belief that God has perfectly and miraculously preserved every word of the original autographs in one manuscript or text--type. It is a belief that God has providentially preserved His Word in and through all the extant manuscripts, versions and other copies of Scripture. … not only does no verse in Scripture explain how God will preserve His Word, but THERE IS NO STATEMENT IN SCRIPTURE FROM WHICH ONE CAN ESTABLISH THE DOCTRINE OF THE PRESERVATION OF THE TEXT OF SCRIPTURE. … it is also obvious from the evidence of history that GOD HAS NOT MIRACULOUSLY AND PERFECTLY PRESERVED HIS WORD IN ANY ONE MANUSCRIPT OR GROUP OF MANUSCRIPTS, OR IN ALL THE MANUSCRIPTS” (Glenny, The Bible Version Debate, pp. 93, 95, 99).
Glenny has stated his position plainly. He boldly denies that the Bible promises the preservation of Scripture. He explains away every passage that has traditionally been cited in support of preservation, including Ps. 12:7; 105:8; 119:89, 152, 160; Isa. 40:8; Matt. 5:18; and Matt. 24:35. At the same time, he audaciously claims “a belief that God has providentially preserved His Word in and through all the extant manuscripts.” This is an impossible position. There can be no “belief” without a plain word from God. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). If God has not explicitly promised to keep His word, we cannot have any faith in the matter. In that case, the fathers of modern textual criticism were correct in treating the Bible like any other book and applying the same theories of criticism to it as they would to the works of Homer or any other non-inspired writing.
This is the leaven of theological modernism, and the Scripture warns, “A little leaven leaveth the whole lump.”
TENNESSEE TEMPLE UNIVERSITY
James Price, a professor at Tennessee Temple University, worked on the Old Testament portion of the New King James Bible, but he does not believe the Received Text is the preserved Word of God. The publishers of the New King James Bible implied in their advertisements that they revered the King James Bible and its Received Text and thus aimed to continue its legacy, but the men who did the translation actually believe the KJV is a weak, corrupt translation and they are committed to the critical Greek text. In an e-mail to me dated April 30, 1996, Dr. Price said: “I am not a TR advocate. … I am not at war with the conservative modern versions.”
In another e-mail, Dr. Price stated that the Bible nowhere explicitly teaches that God will preserve the Scriptures. “ONE MAY INFER THE DOCTRINE OF PRESERVATION FROM STATEMENTS IN THE BIBLE, BUT THE EXPLICIT TERM ‘PRESERVE’ (OR ITS DERIVATIVES) IS NEVER USED IN THE KJV OF THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD” (Price, e-mail, Dec. 20, 2000).
Whether or not the term “preserve” (or even its derivatives) is in the Bible has no meaning for this debate. The question is, “Does the Bible teach that God will preserve the Scriptures?” When Price was challenged for stating that God did not promise to preserve the Scriptures, he replied, “I know the passages that infer preservation, and I believe the doctrine. I just don’t think that the Bible explicitly states how God preserved His word.” James Price is therefore not quite as bold as Glenny or Schnaiter, but he does most definitely cast doubt upon preservation by his claim that the Bible NOWHERE explicitly states or promises preservation.
If Price’s view is correct and preservation is only implied or hinted at, how can we believe it is true? He says there are inferences. Are those inferences authoritative so that a doctrine can be built on them? If not, they hold no meaning from a doctrinal perspective. If the “inferences” are clear enough to build a doctrine on, then what is Price getting at? Either God has promised to preserve the Scripture, or He has not. What is this strange, muddled, middle-of-the-road position? In fact, it is the product of a fundamentalist who is attempting to hold to the Bible with one hand and modern textual criticism with the other. Dr. Price wants to believe in divine preservation in some manner while at the same time holding to the textual critic’s position that no witness to careful preservation of the text is evident in the “record.” These are contradictory positions and they cannot be held together for long. I predict that many of Price’s seminary students will be more consistent and will reject the doctrine of preservation altogether, following in the footsteps of most of the authors and influential names in the field of modern textual criticism.
When the New Evangelicals began associating with the modernists in the late 1940s, using their textbooks, sitting at their feet in seminaries, affiliating with them in their denominations, it took only ONE DECADE for the evangelicals to be infiltrated by modernistic views and to adopt the historio-critical theories that lie at the heart of theological modernism. Harold Lindsell, one of the founding fathers of New Evangelicalism, admitted this: “I must regretfully conclude that the term evangelical has been so debased that it has lost its usefulness. ... Forty years ago the term evangelical represented those who were theologically orthodox and who held to biblical inerrancy as one of the distinctives. ... WITHIN A DECADE OR SO NEOEVANGELICALISM . . . WAS BEING ASSAULTED FROM WITHIN BY INCREASING SKEPTICISM WITH REGARD TO BIBLICAL INFALLIBILITY OR INERRANCY” (Harold Lindsell, The Bible in the Balance, 1979, p. 319).
It is not surprising to see the more scholarly elements of the fundamental Baptist movement questioning preservation, because many of them are sitting at the feet of the textual critics mentioned above. Books by Bruce Metzger and Kurt Aland are readily available in the bookstores and classrooms of schools such as Bob Jones University, Tennessee Temple University, Central Baptist Seminary, and Detroit Baptist Seminary. Every one of the editors of the United Bible Societies Greek New Testament are proponents of the modernistic historical critical approach to the Bible, yet many fundamentalist seminaries have adopted this New Testament and the tainted, unbelieving theories underlying it.
It does not surprise me that Glenny, Price, and others who have adopted modern textual criticism are beginning to approach the Bible with the same naturalistic attitude as the fathers of this “science falsely so called.” Strangely, they are spending more time pointing out alleged errors in the Bible, claiming there are errors in all Bibles, and rebuking men who do not believe the KJV contains error than in defending the Bible from its enemies. I say strangely, because this is indeed a strange endeavor for men who allegedly believe in an infallible Bible. In fact, it is infallible to them only in theory.
The Bible warns that evil communications corrupt good manners (1 Cor. 15:33), and this is exactly what has happened to fundamentalists who are sitting at the feet of the textual critics. Of course, they will not admit that they follow the textual critics, as they profess to be independent thinkers; but their views on Bible preservation sound suspiciously the same.
“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)