Ineffective Ministry Due to What?!
I have recently heard it said (again), and parroted on the theological bastion that is social media, that those who defend the use of what is commonly called the Received Text are part of a very small fringe group that are no more than kin to King James only advocates. It has also been said and parroted across social media that anyone who advocates and/or defends the use of the Received Text are fundamentally unable to engage in meaningful Christian apologetics and ministry in the “real world.”
I am a Received Text advocate. This is due to the fact that I hold to a Majority Text position and it is readily apparent that the Received Text most accurately represents this position. There is more to it than that, but the purpose of my writing these things out is not to justify my position but to call attention to the dishonesty of anyone, either willful or due to ignorance, who would say the above mentioned statements.
Having grown up in Sovereign Grace Baptist churches that were led by men who held to Reformed Theology before the “neo-reformation” of the early 2000’s, I can say that almost all of them and their churches held to a Majority Text position and confidently used a translation that most closely represented the Received Text. These men and churches confidently preached and defended the doctrines of grace as early as the early 1950’s. They were a fringe group in Baptist circles, not because of their textual position but because of their understanding of biblical theology. Were they fundamentally unable to engage in meaningful Christian Apologetics and ministry in the “real world?”
What about the many missionaries througout the world who use a translation based on the Recieved Text of Scripture? Are their life-long ministries to the lost and hurting of this world, some of whom have done so in Muslim dominated countries, ineffective? Have they wasted their time in using the text of Scripture that they use as they proclaim a gospel of grace to a dying and needy world? Of course not!
Reaching further back into history, what about the Trinitarian Bible Society? Was their defense of the word of God during the British downgrade of the 19th century to be considered a fundamental inability to minister the gospel of grace in the real world? What about the incredibly ministry that they now have in translating the scriptures into the many languages of the world from the Received Text?
If we were to believe the claim that those who advocate the Received Text are ineffective and necessarily possess this inability for apologetics and ministry, then we ought to seriously consider any support that is given to men like Joel Beeke and the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. Their in-house biblical languages scholar, Michael Barrett, is a farce for his position and money would be well spent else where if you are seeking a theological education, right?
There are so many other examples that could be added to this list. This “response” is not to disparage and challenge the varacity of the ministries of those who use a translation of Scripture that does not come from the Received Text, but to question the validity of such comments as I have been seeing and to caution believers to be careful not to accept such arguments based on the originator of them.
I would also encourage anyone who reads this to consider the source of such antagonism against a printed text of scripture that was so readily accepted by great pastors and theologians of the past. Added to this, consider the source of the modern Greek text of Scripture. Where did it come from, and why did great men of the past so readily reject the two sources that it so heavily relies upon.
Pray, depend on the Spirit of God, and judge for yourself.