Monday, October 08, 2018

An Affordable Reissue of Letis’s The Ecclesiastical Text

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If you’re interested in the intersection of theology and textual criticism, you might want to know about a recent reissue of Theodore Letis’s 1997 book The Ecclesiastical Text: Criticism, Biblical Authority & the Popular Mind. Among other things, Letis argues in this book that the inspired New Testament text is to be found in the apographs (copies) rather than in the autographs (originals), offering a direct critique of B. B. Warfield and others in the process. For the basic argument, you can also read his article in the Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology [PDF].

We’ve written about Letis before on the blog (here and here). While I don’t usually find his text-critical views convincing, I do enjoy reading him and often learn new things when I do. Although he died around 2005, some have taken up Letis’s mantle over at the website confessionalbibliology.com and their accompanying Facebook group. Sadly, the typesetting of this new edition is worse than the old one, but the $100-cheaper price tag means it’s actually affordable. There’s also a Kindle edition for $10.

5 comments :

  1. Before the disastrous discussions of the 17th century, in 1579 François Lucas wrote about Greek and Latin corrupted apographa. See "Notationes", 1580, p. 6.
    https://reader.digitale-sammlungen.de/de/fs1/object/display/bsb10984740_00012.html

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    1. Thanks for that reference, Teunis. What do you mean about the disastrous 17th-century discussions?

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    2. The vehement discussions between Roman Catholics and Protestants stopped further studies in the TC on the Vulgate by Catholics for two centuries. On the Protestant side many who doubted about the Textus Receptus were called Papist or Socinian. That was a disaster, I suppose.

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  2. I hadn't come across this text, Peter - thanks for noting it. For what it's worth, I've recently written on the relationship between TC and theology in "Living, Active, Elusive: Toward a Theology of Textual Criticism," Journal of Reformed Theology 12 (2018): 83-102. It's primarily intended for sys. theologians (hence the venue).

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    1. Thanks, Nathan! Sounds like something I want to read. Here is the link for others. http://www.academia.edu/37169527/_Living_Active_Elusive_Toward_a_Theology_of_Textual_Criticism_JRT_12_2018_83-102

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