Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Look Who Came to my NT Reliability Seminar
07/09/2009 - James WhiteIt was Saturday evening--I think. I was running on reserve batteries, having done the Shamsi Ali debate, spoken earlier that day across Long Island, and was now way out on the Eastern part of the island. A small group gathered at the church to hear my presentation on the reliability of the New Testament. I will admit, I was a bit worried. I truly feared I was going to yawn repeatedly during the presentation, forget things, and in general make a mess of things. Well, that didn't happen (once I got started the excitement comes when you are passionate about something), but it was surely a challenge that evening. So after we wrap up, I'm working on disassembling my projector, shutting down my computer, etc., and a fellow walks up to me. He shows me the book, The New Testament in the Original Greek, Byzantine Textform by Maurice A. Robinson and William G. Pierpont. I recognize it, and in fact had made reference to it in my presentation (I used it as the counter to the W&H text in creating my graphics illustrating the spectrum of readings in various passages in BibleWorks), but I'm also running on empty, so all I say is, "Yes, I'm familiar with it. I disagree with it on historical issues." Well, the gentleman says, "Well, I agree with it 100%!" Now, at that point all I could manage was, "OK." Nothing more, which for me is clear indication of exhaustion. But then he added, "Because I wrote it!"
And thus I got to meet, for the first time, Maurice Robinson of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. I had corresponded with him a number of times, of course, but we had never met. He had attended the seminar as he was speaking in Queens and had attended the debate with Shamsi Ali! Well, I woke up at that point and we had a very nice conversation. Someone was kind enough to snap a shot of the two of us together.
I would gladly join Dr. Robinson's crew if I could get over the historical problems I see in establishing what seems to me to be a local text type that became privileged with promulgation not because of its textual superiority but because of the events of history (primarily, the adoption of Latin in the West, and the Islamic expansion). But let it be understood: I truly, truly believe that if you apply the same rules of exegesis and hermeneutics to the text linked above (which, by the way, is a very useful text to have in your library) and to the NA27 (soon to be NA28) you will not arrive at a different faith. If all we had available to us was Dr. Robinson's text, we would be just fine, thank you very much.
So in any case, I wish to express my public thanks to Dr. Robinson for his kind attendance at the seminar, for his assistance years ago in my research on the KJV Only issue, and for his steadfast commitment to the authority of God's Word. His service to the people of God should not go unnoticed. And he's a pretty nice guy, too!