Biblical Textual Criticism

Textual Criticism of the Bible is a great idea but the problem is that modern Bible textual critics equivocate “textual criticism” with a bias they call “scientific” that removes all supernatural and Bible based history in an attempt to only work from the starting point of man’s flaud reasoning.

It’s a good and humble starting point to accept God’s authoritative word on matters of past history. The word of God has vindicated itself plenty of times with fulfilled prophecies coming to pass through our Messiah Jesus.


I leave the below information to make my case:

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“Clyde Billington recently published an excellent critique of these illegitimate and inane theories in an in-depth book review. This extensive list of quotes from Billington illustrates, in part, the ludicrousness of the philosophy that undergirds Hendel’s contentions:

  1. …all of the founding fathers of German higher criticism believed in biblical editors, and based their theories of biblical editors on their erroneous assumption that ancient editors followed the later Renaissance model of editing.
  2. Critical scholars have frequently based their textual theories upon textual “histories,” which they have reconstructed or deconstructed from the biblical texts themselves. These textual “histories” seldom use, or only use in passing, actual historical sources or archaeological discoveries. This is a dishonest and deceptive use of the word “history” by critical scholars. It gives the false impression that their critical theories are historically based, when they are not. Their deceptive use of the word “history” should stop.
  3. …critical textual theories are frequently based upon highly questionable assumptions. For example, based on the old Homeric model, critical scholars frequently assumed a period of oral transmission for various portions of the OT. I see no real problem with the possibility that portions of the Bible were passed along orally before biblical writers incorporated them into their books. However, the assumption of oral transmission is almost always based upon another assumption, which is that the Jews were not literate at some point in ancient history. This assumption is frequently made for the Patriarchal Period; that is, if the critical scholar even happens to believe there were patriarchs. This is another critical argument from silence that has now been blown away by archaeology.
  4. The greatest problem for… critical scholars is that the historical and archaeological evidence does not match well, and frequently flatly contradicts, many of their textual theories. There are many examples that could be cited where almost all critical biblical scholars have failed to absorb, have ignored, have dismissed, or have not dealt with relevant archaeological and historical evidence of great importance to biblical studies.
  5. Unfortunately, for most textual critics, truth is not their goal. Many biblical critics today are more interested in reader response hermeneutics and creative textual criticism than they are in finding the truth, and for some, truth is purely relative. To paraphrase a modern saying, for textual critics “it is not important whether your textual theory is true or false, but how you play the methodological game.” [35]

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