Fwd: Re: [asa] Predestined Fame:

From: <muzhogg@netspace.net.au>
Date: Thu Jul 17 2008 - 19:30:17 EDT

Hi Vernon,

We're on totally different wavelengths as regards our understanding of the
role and nature of Scripture, I'm afraid. My guess is that your puzzlement
arises from the assumption that we share the same conceptual space on the

First, I don't consider ANY translation as divinely inspired nor do I consider
the Holy Spirit to be bound by such considerations. It is, basically, a
distinction between (1) the origins of a text and (2) how we read it under the
influence of the Spirit. Failure to draw such a distinction means that one
either has to argue that ALL translations of scripture are inspired OR the
Holy Spirit cannot speak through the "non-inspired" translations (which
include, what? The NIV? NKJV? RSV? Good News? Non-English translations?).
Neither seems a desirable position to take. One _might_ adopt a mediating
position saying that the Spirit speaks most clearly through the AV - but
there's a MAJOR catch lurking in there which I leave others to discover for
themselves (that said, ask and ye shall recieve!).

Second, regardless of how you see it, I have said nothing about whether one
can, or cannot, deducing the truth of Scripture by rational argument. All I
have stated is that I find unconvincing your attempts to demonstrate the
divine inspiration of the AV by using the particular linguistic/numerological
arguments you have so far advanced. As to whether such arguments are based
on "self-evident" truth - well, that's precisely the question at issue. You
think it self-evident that the 46th word from the end of Psalm 46 is "spear",
whereas I consider it self-evident that the word is "in".

I actually dislike saying too much about whether one can "prove" anything
respecting the faith by rational argument as one is almost always interpreted
wrongly on such matters. My experience is that most people take a
dichotomizing view of faith and reason whilst I would hold that the interplay
between the two is actually far more complex. Personally, I consider that the
Holy Spirit can speak as well through a mathematical proof as through a sunset
or a sermon. But because it IS the Spirit speaking, it is therefore an error
to ask whether it was the proof or the sunset or the sermon or the Spirit
which convinces. The Spirit works THROUGH such secondary causes, not apart
from them. So we're not forced to discriminate between the primary cause of
the God's revelation through the Spirit, and the secondary causes already
mentioned. I'll only add that my current post-grad studies are PRECISELY on
the question of how John's Gospel presents God as making himself known through
Christ - quoting Jn 10:37,38 as thought this were ALL that John's gospel says
about the relation between Christ's works and the knowledge of God shows a
woefully inadequate grasp of John's theology of the Spirit which is,
essntially, the fact that even when one sees the works of Christ one believes
on the basis of the Spirit enlightening the eyes of the soul THROUGH the
works. Again, it isn't an "either/or" proposition with regards to secondary
causes (Christ's works) and primary causes (the witness of the Spirit).

Incidentally, you might consider that the arguments your are presenting are
not, strictly speaking, "rational" arguments so much as "empirical" arguments:
they hinge on the simple question of whether or not the text of the Authorised
Version AS ACTUALLY WRITTEN shows the characteristics you claim for it. Yet
what I find is that when I count so many words from such-and-such a position
in the text IT IS DEMONSTRABLY THE CASE that your argument fails UNLESS you
first "tweak" the data to fit the theory. Not a good game to play amongst
those attempting to be faithful to the scientific method. It's like arguing
that "all swans are white" is self-evidently true just so long as one
disregards the black ones.

Third, I consider your position viz-a-viz linguistic/numerological arguments
to be fundamentally flawed for the reasons already given. One simply can't
argue that the facts ought to be faith strengthening when the facts actually
have to be tailored to fit the faith one wishes to espouse.

Murray Hogg

> Hi Murray,
> Thanks for the concession. However - as the unwitting author of VJRV (: -
> I am puzzled by your seemingly contradictory remarks, viz "...the AV text is
> not divinely inspired..." and "We know Scripture to be the Word of God by
> the internal witness of the Holy Spirit." A clarification therefore would be
> appreciated.
> As I see it, your intention is to convey the idea that the truth of the
> Scriptures cannot be deduced by rational argument - even when this is based
> upon self-evident truth. But surely the Lord himself scotches that notion
> when he says "If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I
> do, though ye believe not me, _believe the works_: that ye may know, and
> believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him." (Jn.10:37,38).
> Accordingly, let me draw your attention to two further pages of mine which
> focus on Bible structure as _a work of God_. They may be found at
> http://www.whatabeginning.com/BBooks/EyeOpener/P.htm and
> http://www.whatabeginning.com/BBooks/LangtonLegacy/P.htm.
> In my view, the facts presented therein should extend our understanding of
> divine inspiration and be faith-strengthening news for all Christians. Would
> you agree? Or would you still consider my position to be 'fundamentally
> flawed'. But if so, in what respect?
> Regards,
> Vernon

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Received on Thu Jul 17 19:30:54 2008

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