My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’d liken this book to a fencing match between two friends. They practice their swordplay, and are both skilled in the art, but each takes a different tact. However, their fencing is no mere hobby, but it is training for warfare. The Word of God is under continual assault from without the church and within. Unbelieving lions would like to undermine the integrity/reliability of the text of Scripture, while wolves from within endeavor to wrest the Scriptures.
Wilson and White each care deeply about the Bible. That is manifestly evident in this debate. Where they differ is which manuscripts––and more broadly, which manuscript tradition––should be understood as the original text of inspired Scripture.
Pastor Wilson holds to the Textus Receptus and the Byzantine Text type; while Dr. White believes there is still a “backlog” of textual criticism to be done to get the Church to the original text, and approves the Nestle-Aland/UBS Text as the sort of “jumping off” point for this endeavor. Neither denies that the Church does indeed have the authoritative, inerrant, and infallible Word of God. Rather they contend over the various discrepancies between the manuscripts, as well as what the Church’s process should be for how to make those determinations.
The audiobook is read by both gentlemen, which was a nice touch. There are points where the format of the debate seemed to leave them “talking past” the other. But I have it on good authority that these gents will be continuing the conversation in other venues in the near future. For those who need a good introduction to the Xs & Os of textual criticism and manuscript traditions, this is a helpful starting place; namely because these are two men who both desire the church to submit to the Word of her Lord, whatever He says.
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