Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Response To Martin Shue, Part Two: His Tragic Misuse Of Scrivener

Having dealt with Mr. Shue's brief discussion of the Greek manuscripts, his second argument is little more than an ad hominem, a fallacy he repeats throughout his argument. During a long paragraph where Shue does elicit some important information (which will be dealt with in a later post), he also thrusts the following upon us:

1) This is a most interesting statement by Metzger. In an effort to make it appear to the unsuspecting saint that there is no Early Church Father support for the verse Metzger says “Greek Fathers”. This is interesting because at other times Metzger himself will appeal to these ‘non-Greek’ Fathers if they can be found to bolster support for his argument.

2) It is also quoted in the ’Disputation with Arius’ by Ps-Athanasius thus proving Metzger’s statement that it was not used in the Arian controversy false.

3) Once again this is Greek evidence which appears much earlier than Metzger purports when he says, “Its first appearance in Greek is in a Greek version of the (Latin) Acts of the Lateran Council in 1215.” I am not certain if Metzger is aware of the above facts or if he has just chosen to overlook them.

In the following paragraph we find:

4) Again we find a distortion of the facts by both Metzger and Wallace. Being that both these learned men write extensively on this subject one would think they would be a little more familiar with the facts of the matter.

And then in the final sentence we have:

5) Exposure has been made of the constant misrepresentation of the facts by people such as Daniel Wallace and Bruce Metzger.

A RESPONSE TO MARTIN SHUE

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of dealing with those who espouse the KJV Only view is the inevitable attack upon individuals as if making such an attack proves anything about who is right concerning the argument. Having already shown Mr. Shue's deficient response to Wallace in regards to the eight late Greek manuscripts, it should not surprise the reader that Mr. Shue's rapid volley of claims regarding church fathers is misleading. Shue  suggests that Metzger is trying to mislead his reader by claiming Metzger's statement only refers to Greek Fathers and no mention is made of non-Greek Fathers whom Metzger himself appeals to in support of his own argument. Shue then begins a rapid volley of claims of citations none of which he provides support for!! His list sounds like an unattributed plagiarism of Michael Maynard's claims in A History of the Debate of Over I John 5:7. But many of the "Fathers" that he lists as "Fathers" are not "Fathers" at all. And several others beg many questions that Shue does not even attempt to answer. The Council of Carthage was NOT a Church Father, it was a church COUNCIL. Pseudo-Vigilius and Pseudo-Athansisus were also not Church Fathers; they are noncanonical works that were not even written by those whose names are on them. Pseudo-Athanasius is a sixth century document and the date of Pseudo-Vigilius is unknown. How can Shue claim this is an "early" quotation when he doesn't even know when it was written?

In essence, Shue focuses upon non-Greek scholars who were primarily well-versed in Latin. That the corruption was an early one isolated to the Latin language has never been seriously contested. Yet why does not Shue provide the actual quotations from these works? I doubt he has ever even seen them; he is most likely regurgitating the claims that others have made. Tertullian used the word Trinity. The fact that the doctrine or even the term existed is not evidence that I John 5:7 existed at that time as the doctrine of the Trinity is not dependent upon I John 5:7.

Shue's most amusing blunder occurs when he lists Pseudo-Athanasius and gives it a sixth century date. That information is correct, but just three sentences later he claims the Comma "is also quoted in the ’Disputation with Arius’ by Ps-Athanasius thus proving Metzger’s statement that it was not used in the Arian controversy false." But Shue never explains the obvious problem in his logic: how in the world could a sixth century pseudigraph have been used in a fourth century controversy? The real Athanasisus did not write Ps-Athanasius, and it was not quoted during the Arian controversy. The fact somebody wrote a fictional tale later that Shue opted to pass on as an authentic argument reveals more about Shue's paradigm than about Metzger's facts.

The second most amusing error Shue makes is when he claims a Homily by an unkown author cites the Comma Johanneum in 381 AD. We should therefore expect to read the following:

εν τω ουρανω ο πατηρ ο λογος και το αγιον πνευμα και ουτοι οι τρεις εν εισιν και τρεις εισιν οι μαρτυρουντες εν τη γη

But what does Shue quote?

εις κεκλεται ο πατηρ και ο υιος και το πνευμα το αγιον: δει γαρ τε αποστολικε χωρεια παραχωρεςαι τεν αγιον τριαδα εν ο πατηρ καταγγελλιε. τριας αποστολο μαρτυς τες ουρανιου τριαδος

So that there's no mistaking it, let's see how EXACT this 'quote' truly is by making the exact wordings the same color:

1) εν τω ουρανω ο πατηρ ο λογος και το αγιον πνευμα και ουτοι οι τρεις εν εισιν και τρεις εισιν οι μαρτυρουντες εν τη γη
2) εις κεκλεται ο πατηρ και ο υιος και το πνευμα το αγιον: δει γαρ τε αποστολικε χωρεια παραχωρεςαι τεν αγιον τριαδα εν ο πατηρ καταγγελλιε. τριας αποστολο μαρτυς τες ουρανιου τριαδος

Can anyone looking at these two quotes possibly believe they are anything even resembling verbatim quotes of one another? One would not even have to know Greek to note the variation. Two other words, martus and ouranious, have different cases of the same root.

Now let's consider this for just a moment: there are 25 Greek words in this disputed clause. We'll give or take a word or two on the basis of the article (which itself is a separate discussion proving the Latin interpolation of the passage). Of the 25 words, only SEVEN are verbatim or about 35% and NEVER more than four in a row!! How Shue can possibly claim that quotation 2 is a quotation of number 1 is never explained. Of the 31 words making up what Shue claims is a quote, only seven appear in the Comma. There is not even agreement between these two quotes upon whether the word should be "Son" or "Word." This is not a quote, Mr. Shue, this is desperation on the part of CJ advocates. (I will deal with this quote in more detail on a future post).

Shue again chides the scholarship of Metzger and Wallace by suggesting they are just not very well read on the verse. Shue states the following:
Wallace next cites Metzger as writing, “The passage is absent from the manuscripts of all ancient versions (Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopic, Arabic, Slavonic) except the Latin:”. Again we find a distortion of the facts by both Metzger and Wallace. Being that both these learned men write extensively on this subject one would think they would be a little more familiar with the facts of the matter. These facts are not hidden and can be found by anyone willing to do a little research. The Comma is in fact found in some of the Armenian manuscripts. F. H. A. Scrivener reported this fact in his book “Plain Introduction” (cf. p. 403). Now even the newest UBS critical text has updated this information and admits that the passage is in fact found in some Armenian manuscripts.

Set aside the insulting rhetoric that is Shue's first three response sentences. What does Wallace say on the issue? Wallace quotes Metzger and notes the passage is absent from the manuscripts of ALL of the ancient versions and then lists them. Shue then pulls out what he calls a "fact" from Scrivener's text critical volume and cites the page where we suddenly find that the Comma "is found in some of the Armenian manuscripts." With this subtle shift, Shue is misleading the reader by not telling them he has bait and switched his terms. Ironically, Shue distorts what Scrivener says THREE DIFFERENT TIMES!!
Shue cites page 403 of Scrivener's work, so we must turn there.
Of course, we have a problem: Shue doesn't bother to mention WHICH edition of Scrivener's work has this. Nor does he mention the volume (it's a two volume set) Nevertheless, let's take a look at Scrivener's fourth edition, volume 2. (Shue's reason no doubt is because he never researched any of this himself; he simply passes on claims without verifying them). But since this has page 403 and addresses Armenian manuscripts, let's look at what Scrivener actually said:
"The disputed clause is not in any manuscript of the Peshitto, nor in the best editions (e.g. Lee's): the Harkleian, Sahidic, Bohairic, Ethiopic, Arabic do not contain it in any shape: scarcely any Armenian codex exhibits it, and only a few recent Slavonic copies.."

 Now let's compare. Wallace and Metzger state that the Comma Johanneum is not in any ANCIENT version - and it isn't. It is not in ANY Armenian manuscripts of the first ten centuries. Better yet - yes, the ARE some Armenian manuscripts that contain it but ALL of them post-date Erasmus's TR and are back-translations to match the Greek text. The same can be said for Shue's importing of the first Armenian Bible in 1666. Now we may ask why Shue should be taken seriously here. Surely he knows that ANY Bible that post-dates the insertion of the Comma into the TR is no argument at all - and most certainly he MUST know that manuscripts from the 16th century are not "ancient." Consequently, we find that Shue has distorted the argument. He pulls a bait and switch. Since the Armenian version IS an ancient version, he merely asserts that because some late manuscripts contain the insertion that it actually appears in the ancient version. I'm not sure if Shue is aware of these facts or has simply chosen to ignore them.
Shue's second misrepresentation of Scrivener is more egregious than his first. Let's see how Shue makes his case:
There are many Latin mss., of those that contain the Catholic Epistle of 1 John the vast majority contain 1 John 5:7. Many of these dating back to at least as early as the 4th century. It can also be found in the Latin Vulgate; of which, Frederick Scrivener wrote, “it is found in the printed Latin Vulgate, and in perhaps forty-nine out of every fifty of its manuscripts”.

Now - let's see what Scrivener ACTUALLY SAID in context. Let's note this is on page 403 of the same version of his work:
“it is found in the printed Latin Vulgate, and in perhaps forty-nine out of every fifty of its manuscripts, but not in the best"

Did you notice the difference? Scrivener was NOT praising the testimony of the Vulgate. In fact, he was merely reciting the evidence but then noting it at a 180 degree variance with the way Shue distorted what he said.
Shue's last distortion of Scrivener is just as bad as the first two. Note Shue's quote and then let's see the part he chose to edit:
This is so evident that even Frederick Scrivener, who adamantly opposed the Comma, was compelled to say, “If these two passages be taken together (the first is manifestly much the stronger), it is surely safer and more candid to admit that Cyprian read ver. 7 in his copies, than to resort to the explanation of Facundus, that the holy Bishop was merely putting on ver. 8 a spiritual meaning (Plain Introduction, p. 405).” I couldn’t agree more with the words of Dr. Scrivener!

Now having turned to page 405, we read something a little bit different than what Shue just said:
If these two passages be taken together (the first is manifestly much the stronger), it is surely safer and more candid to admit that Cyprian read ver. 7 in his copies, than to resort to the explanation of Facundus, that the holy Bishop was merely putting on ver. 8 a spiritual meaning; although we must acknowledge that it was in this way ver. 7 obtained a place, first in the margin, then in the text of the Latin copies, and though we have clear examples of the like mystical interpretation in Eucherius (fl. 440) and Augustine (contra Maximin. 22) who only knew of ver. 8."

Once again Scrivener EXPLICITLY STATES that the way verse 7 got into the text is because of a spiritual meaning on verse 8. In fact, the only place where Scrivener disagrees with Wallace and Metzger is regarding WHO PRECISELY did it. Scrivener opts to see Cyprian as quoting the Comma but from a prior spiritual interpretation.

Now why was any of this necessary? Why did Shue have to misrepresent Scrivener?

My suspicion is that it's because Shue has probably never read Scrivener at all. He has read the popular level KJV Only works that always distort the reality. Because he so desperately wants to believe the worst about new version proponents, he simply passes on distortions that others have told him. I cannot imagine that anyone who actually READ Scrivener's work could be unaware of the fact that Scrivener was VERY CLEAR about his view as to how the Comma got into the manuscripts as a Latin corruption.

I couldn’t agree more with the words of Dr. Scrivener!

Please note that Shue quotes this only about Scrivener after he has not accurately quoted him. I couldn't agree more with Scrivener myself - I John 5:7 originally crept into the manuscripts as a theological spin. Whether it was Cyprian or someone else who did it first is immaterial at this point. But these words ring hollow when we read Shue's final attempt at finishing off Wallace and Metzger:

The question then becomes, why does Mr. Wallace continue to espouse this “spiritual meaning/theological spin” hypothesis when this allegation has been refuted for centuries? One can only wonder if the reason behind this charade is not to further conceal the actual evidence and to further mislead the unsuspecting saints.

Shue never stops to ask this obvious question, either: why in the world would Daniel Wallace, a Trinitarian, want to conceal evidence of the Trinity?

And perhaps Mr. Shue ought to ask that question of Scrivener. After all, Scrivener held virtually the same view as Wallace regarding I John 5:7, disagreeing only upon where this mystical interpretation began. When Shue says "this allegation has been refuted for centuries," where did he ever PROVE this to be true? His only witness he called forth, FHA Scrivener, testifies in favor of Wallace on this issue. And who exactly is conducting a charade to "conceal the actual evidence and to further mislead the unsuspecting saints?"
The verdict on that one is clear: Martin Shue, and not Daniel Wallace, is the one who is concealing "the actual evidence" and misleading "the unsuspecting saints."

1 comment:

  1. Hi Folks,

    Greetings, I would like to look closely at this article, starting with:

    "His list sounds like an unattributed plagiarism of Michael Maynard's claims in A History of the Debate of Over I John 5:7."

    =============

    Unfair accusation of plagiarism.

    This is significant because it is far more serious than the accusations with which you try to say Marty Shue was not fair to Wallace and Metzger.

    Marty Shue frequently references the superb work of Michael Maynard by name (e.g. twice in the Cyprian article)and afaik they are on fine, respectful terms. On top of that, if you actually looked carefully you would see significant differences in the list from Marty and from Michael Maynard's book. (Which you should do before you accuse.) Also, Marty made no claims that he was the primary source for translating and research.

    Thus, you step out of bounds in making a wild accusation of "plagiarism".

    The biggest complaint feasible would be to request better attribution. e.g. The Priscillian English translation may be directly or indirectly .. e.g Thomas Holland .. from Maynard, yet even that could be technically insufficient since Maynard references Brooke for the English translation.

    Shalom,
    Steven Avery
    http://purebible.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete