Friday, October 14, 2005

What this blog is about

Hi all! This is P.J. Williams here. You can find out about me on:
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/divinity/williams/index.shtml
Essentially what I'm wanting to do is to create a blog for those who wish to discuss textual criticism of the Old or New Testament from an evangelical perspective. There are many textual critics out there who are evangelicals and here I am trying to create a forum for us to discuss ideas together.

I want this forum to be robust in two ways: first, it is not going to be embarrassed about believing that the Bible is true and that the Bible is made up of particular words which come from God. Secondly, it is going to be a place where we discuss textual criticism based on a familiarity with the issues involved. If you haven't read the New Testament in Greek or the Old Testament in Hebrew then it isn't going to be appropriate for you to take part.

The blog will not generally try to justify the historic evangelical perspective that says that the inspired text of the Bible is Greek for the NT and Hebrew (or Aramaic) for the OT. Justifications may emerge within this group, but it will be more profitable to those involved if we take this as our basis.

Typically people divide into those who are interested in doctrine and those who are interested in history and texts. Here I hope we can see that there need be no division between these groups.

One thing that needs to be said is that evangelical textual criticism is not synonymous with textual criticism carried out by individuals who are evangelical. Evangelical textual criticism is textual criticism which is governed by the principles of evangelicalism. Thus while, for instance, there are some individuals who are undoubtedly evangelical who hold that an English translation of the Bible is superior to what is found in all the Greek manuscripts of the NT, since their position is in conflict with the historic evangelical position that locates the authority of the NT in the Greek they may be evangelical, but their textual criticism is not.

One further characteristic of evangelical textual criticism will also be the manner in which we engage in discussion. All who claim the name 'evangelical' need to show the characteristics which should accompany our faith.

I hope that I can have a relatively light touch in steering this blog, and would respectfully request that those who post to it have regard for the principles outlined above.

5 Comments:

Peter M. Head said...

I think a white background would be more appropriate for an evangelical blog:
a) more echoes of positive biblical symbolism;
b) better approximation to brightness of original manuscripts (both parchment and papyrus);
c) better reflection of the history of the Bible as a published book;
d) I could probably read it without squinting.

Pete

P J Williams said...

I thought that white on black was a bit closer to gold lettering on purple background :-) And anyway, what real textual critic is not used to straining their eyesight at text?

Peter M. Head said...

I thought this blog was going to be founded on evangelical principles.

By the way, the white text on black background is not the problem. The black text on black background is a bit more tricky.

Pete

P J Williams said...

As you'll see, I'm still experimenting with different colour schemes. Thankfully, as with manuscripts, the content is supposed to be more important than the presentation.

Peter M. Head said...

PJW said: "Thankfully, as with manuscripts, the content is supposed to be more important than the presentation."

No, the presentation is meant to aid the reception of the content.

Pete