Reformed Scholastics did not use Empirical Methodology

Rev. Matthew Winzer:

Reformed scholastic views of the text did not operate according to modern empirical methodology. 1 John 5:7 is regularly used as if it were the Achilles heel of the TR. Whatever one thinks of the text, its wholesale acceptance demonstrates that the reformed church believed in the preservation of the Word without requiring the type of inductive, evidential methodology which is the trademark of modern textual criticism. It did not matter that it was not found in the majority of Greek mss. or how old the mss. were. Their doctrine of preservation was not dependent on the number or age of the mss.

Source:, Comment 9


Corruption and Presuppositions

A discussion that illustrates some of the presuppositions at play in the Bible translation debate:

James White and the Received Text (Truelove)

Source and discussion:

See also:

Not a Matter Primarily of Science, But of Faith

Pastor Robert Truelove on the Reformers, the Received Text, and the “problem of variants”:

“To say they didn’t possess the evidence we now have and make anachronistic claims fails to grasp the concerns of our forbears. While it is true they came before the discoveries of the ancient papyri, they were yet aware of the problem of variants (as their writings reveal) and rejected the older uncials they had considering them unreliable (See The Text of the New Testament (second edition), by Kurt and Barbara Aland, P.4). However, it is also clear that they approached the issue with a completely different set of presuppositions. To the 17th century Reformed Scholastics, the text of the Bible was not a matter primarily of science, but faith. God had preserved his word in the Traditional Text that had been in use and preserved in all ages.”


The Regard Of The Company We Stand In Suffices Us

Jerusalem Blade from the Puritan Board:

We, the professing church of Jesus Christ in the late 19th, the 20th, and early 21st centuries, have institutionalized and conferred legitimacy upon a system—and an attendant industry—predicated on disbelief in God’s providential working to preserve a particular text for His people and approved as such by them, instead depending on man’s science and skill to determine a somewhat preserved text, and that not in the confines of the believing church but in the academy amidst both regenerate and unregenerate scholars.

Those who hold to the faith of their Reformation forebears in the 16th through mid-19th centuries that God provided for His true church a particular preserved text—then forged by their vigorous faith and godly wisdom into an invincible weapon against the proud boastings and bloody aggressions of the Romish monster—the spiritual progeny of these Reformation stalwarts in this matter of their Holy Bibles, are presently demeaned as ignorant and retrograde by those considering themselves the more intelligent and intellectually advanced members of the modern faith community.

Nonetheless, the regard of the company we stand in suffices us.

Source:, Comment #40 (the latter part of Comment #39 also eloquently states the case)

A Concerted Textual Effort

Richard A. Muller, Post Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 2, Holy Scripture: The Cognitive Foundation of Theology, page 443:

The Reformed orthodox do, thus, engage in a concerted textual effort to maintain their doctrine of the purity and perfection of the text of Scripture.

Source:, Comment #39 (Kent Brandenburg via Jerusalem Blade)

Integrity of Versions and Sources

Richard A. Muller, Post Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 2, Holy Scripture: The Cognitive Foundation of Theology, page 437:

The Reformed orthodox insisted on the providential preservation of Scripture in its integrity and the consistent care taken by the church throughout history to care for the text. This assumption of integrity refers, moreover, not to the versions but to the Hebrew and Greek sources on which all versions must be based.

Source:, Comment #39 (Kent Brandenburg via Jerusalem Blade)