Welcome back, everyone. Today is Wednesday, November 29th. I'm Ryan Hill.
I'm John Galantis. And you're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at ClearviewTodayShow.com, or if you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for new topics, send us a text, 252-582-5028. Or you can email us—you can not visit us online at ClearviewTodayShow.com—or you can email us at contact at ClearviewTodayShow.com.
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Like I said, make wise choices. You can say, gold and silver have I none, but what I have, I give to you, and you just hand over your phone. No. I mean, they'll give it back.
Hopefully. Well, just do that. You can share it with your friends and family if you just want to share it with them, and then you can graduate to sharing it with a stranger later.
But we're going to leave some links in the description so you can do just that. And listen, today's verse of the day is coming to us from Psalm 90, verse 1 and 2, one of my favorite Psalms all time. Ooh, Psalm 90. Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations, before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world. Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. I can't hear this without hearing the song. I know.
I know. That's the part about doing Psalms as worship songs is like, you always hear it now as the song. But I mean, it's so good because this is just like a declaration of God's majesty. You know, so many times our prayer life is, God, I need this, or God, I want this, or God, can you do this? And that's fine.
I mean, we can bring those concerns to God, but there should also be an element of, God, You are great. You are majestic. You are in control. You are sovereign. You are good.
You are loving. Just declaring who God is, not because He needs to be reminded, but because we do. We need to be reminded of who God is, and we need to bring ourselves into the proper posture of worship. Part of knowing, or really part of something that someone says, having weight, is knowing who that person is. So for example, like I know that Ryan is a DC guy over a Marvel guy, right? He prefers DC superheroes over Marvel. So for him to say, hey, this Marvel movie is really good, knowing that about him, I know that this truth holds a lot more weight. So also with God, when we understand like, okay, this is who God is. He is glorious. He is majestic. He's the king. He's the creator. He is all of this stuff.
When he says, hey, I love you, it holds so much more weight knowing who He is. So that's why I love how a lot of these Psalms start off by just praising God for who He is. Not just what He's done for us, not just how I benefit from Him, but God, You're our dwelling place in all generations.
Even before there were mountains, You were there. From everlasting to everlasting, You're God. Starting off with who God is, I feel like that's so, so powerful.
Yeah, so good. Uh, speaking of things being powerful and really just, just having weight and being heavy, actually ordering lunch right now. Do you want something from sheets? Sure. I'll take something from sheets. I'll tell you, what do you want from sheets? Cause I'm, I'm thinking of having something thick on my stomach.
What do you usually get from sheets? I usually just get a salad. They have pretty good salads. And the salads that they have are like, they're like big chunky salads. A gas station salad for Ryan.
David, you want anything? Cram a lot in there. You can't equate sheets to gas station food. It's a gas station. I mean, it is a gas station, but there's like a restaurant. Yeah.
It's like, it's different than a gas station. I usually get like the pepperoni sub with fries on the sub. Let me go ahead. Let me, let me go ahead and turn y'all on to something.
Let me let y'all know what's up. All right. If you're sitting back, you're wondering what am I going to get from sheets? I'm trying to watch my calories.
What you're going to get? You're going to get a protein parm. All right. That is a sub with chicken Parmesan cheese, regular mozzarella cheese, and marinara sauce, 494 calories. Okay. That's actually pretty good for 500 calories.
Yeah. So I get two of those and then I get a bowl of fruit all together. My lunch is about a thousand calories and then I just don't eat. You don't need to eat a thousand calories a day. You need more than that, right?
How many do you need to maintain? How's that? I'm sorry? You're starving yourself. Oh no. What else do you eat? I'm starving. Oh yeah.
No, of course. So here's something I'm wasting away. I usually get the pepperoni sub and I get it with fries on top of the sub and then I got a side of fries because it's going to come with a side of fries, which actually leads me to something I've been wanting to, this isn't really a gripe. It's just something weird that I've noticed sheets does. And also Wendy's does this too. You'll get like, I don't know why they do this, but you get like a sandwich and then it comes with a combo, like a fries and a drink. That makes perfect sense. Wendy's and sheets, and I'm sure other restaurants do it too, will try to give you another sandwich as a side. And I love that.
Why? It's like, it's like, Hey, I want a Dave's triple. That's a, that's a big burger.
That's like 1100 calories. I want a Dave's triple with a side of fries and an ice cold beverage. They're like, why don't you take a Dave's double to go with that?
But it's just silly to be like, what a time to be alive. I know you can get a full on burger. And as a side, you can just have another burger and you can have fries on it. You can have whatever you want. Yeah. Our ancestors looking out from heaven are like, wow, I used to have to, this is what we fought for. I used to have to hunt and kill animals.
And it would take like weeks to get that on. This is what we wanted. Go enjoy my sons. I wonder if, I wonder if pass a shot, whatever. I feel like I'm going to, I'm going to order him some lunch and I'm going to get him a burger on the side of a burger. I think I'm going to get him a chicken sandwich. And as a side, get him two chicken sandwiches and see what he says. As you do.
No big deal. Write in and let us know what your craziest side combination is. What do you, what do you, have you ordered that you're like, this should not be possible, but I've made this work.
2-5-2-5-8-2-5-0-2-8. Or you can visit us online at clearveetodayshow.com. Stay tuned. We'll be back after this. Hey, what's going on listeners? My name is John.
And I'm Ellie. And we just want to take a second and let you know about Dr. Shah's new book on the market right now called Can We Recover the Original Text of the New Testament? Boy, that is a long title. True, but it's a very simple message. The original text of the New Testament is not only attainable, but there are lots of different ways that scholars go about discovering it. There's a lot of people out there saying that the original text is lost forever, or that it's hopeless to actually try to find it, or that there's many texts of the New Testament. But alongside Dr. David Allen Black, Dr. Shah has actually compiled papers from some of the world's leading experts in textual criticism, including one written by himself on various methodologies for extracting the original text. And listen, if you're interested in textual criticism, this book is a great introduction to the field. You can pick up your copy on Amazon, or you can buy it from our church website. That's ClearviewBC.org. We're going to leave a link in the description box so you can get your copy today.
Love that. Ellie, let's hop back in. Let's do it. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abaddon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at ClearViewTodayShow.com.
If you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text to 252-582-5028. That's right. We are here once again at the Clear View Today Studio coming at you live from North Carolina. It's not really live, but wow. We're live right now. We're live on the radio, but we're not.
Oh, I see. We're live here at the table. Currently, we are live. We're live at the table.
You're listening to us live on the radio, but we're not broadcasting. Right. We're alive. We're alive.
That's true. We are here with Dr. Abaddon Shah, who is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism. Dr. Shah, we had sheets for lunch today, and the strangest thing happened.
Okay. Just the craziest thing. I got a sandwich, and it asked me if I wanted a combo, so I got it with fries, a drink, and another sandwich. How did you get another sandwich? They offer it as a combo. Wendy's does the same thing. Really?
Yeah, we talked about it. Cookout does that, too. Where you get a tray, and it's like you can have a burger with fries, or you can have a burger with just another burger, and then you can also have a burger. With a side of a burger. I'd like a quesadilla with a side of another quesadilla.
Have you ever been to a restaurant, like a nice sit-down restaurant, where they give you a steak, potato, and fries, and a salad, but instead of those sides, you could just have two steaks? Like, has that ever happened? That would be pretty great. Who doesn't?
I want to go there. We've been talking about Ephesians 5-30 and the longer reading. Well, guess what? We have a side of more textual criticism for your textual criticism. Oh, snap. Yeah, we've had the past two days, we've been talking about Ephesians 5-30. Today, we're going to change the game up and talk about Ephesians 5-30.
But there's also some more stuff in there. If you haven't heard it, if you're listening live on the radio right now, guess what? Good news. You can go to the Apple podcast app. You can download Clearview Today's show with Dr. Abaddon Shah. Go ahead and listen to Monday's episode. While you're at it, go on ahead and listen to Tuesday's episode. It'll lay an important foundation. Yeah, and then you can come back in time and listen to Wednesday on the radio live.
Wait a minute, time travel? Yeah. No, I don't think we can promise that. You just, well, basically what we're saying is listen to Monday and Tuesday. I don't think we can promise that. But what we can promise you is that we're going to dive deeper into Ephesians 5-30 today. Let's do it.
So for those of you who don't know, Dr. Shah, you recently went to San Antonio and presented this paper on Ephesians 5-30. That's right. Here's my question. This is something I haven't even thought to ask you, like even in real life. Did you choose that or was that assigned to you?
No, no, this is something I chose. Okay. Yeah. So they asked you to present a paper.
They didn't ask me to present anything. Oh. This is the Evangelical Theological Society's annual meeting.
Okay. And they have a theme, and the theme this year was theological anthropology, as in, you know, how does God reveal himself in human characteristics? It can also get into the subjects of gender identity, feminism, those kind of things. But also, I felt like the passage that was in my mind, Ephesians 5-30, really addressed the issue of theological anthropology in the sense that it's about the body of Jesus. The verse says, for we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. I mean, how much more anthropological can you get? That's true. How much more theological can you get?
Nothing more human than flesh and bones, especially when we're talking about Jesus himself. Exactly. So I felt like that was a good topic. I wrote up a proposal, sent it off to them, and they came back and said, yes, we like your paper, we would love for you to present it.
And that's how it got in. That's awesome. That's really cool. And I had a good 20, 25 people there.
Yeah, that's great. Which is to have scholars. We had a scholar from Cambridge University, who's one of the heads of Tyndall House, was there. There was also a scholar from Reform Theological Seminary. There was scholars from New Orleans for their Center for New Testament Text Studies was there. There were people from CSNTM, Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, which is a Dallas Theological Seminary under Dr. Dan Wallace. They were there. Of course, Dr. Robinson was there, who was a professor at Southeastern for years and years. He was there as well. And several other people, along with a Bible translator, was there.
I think it was with SIL. So I was blown away. I wasn't expecting a good crowd, and I wasn't expecting a good response. But I told you, when it came to the question and answer period, there was like two. Nobody asked.
Because they felt like it was self-evident. Well, it was kind of funny, because the only person who asked me was the person from the Bible translator group. And his question was regarding a footnote. And he said, this is your footnote? Like, your book?
I was like, yeah, that is my book. I'm sorry, the footnote is not complete, because this is the first draft that you have in your hand. I'm reading from the second draft.
I just didn't have chance or time, really, to print out the second draft. And so that was his question. Then he had another question about another footnote. That's it.
Everybody else was just like shaking their head. Wow. Just two questions about the footnotes, and that's it. Yeah. And a professor from Liberty was there.
Liberty University, Dr. Ben Laird, who's a great scholar. He was a moderator of the session. And he said, thank you so much for the paper. I really enjoyed it. I said, hopefully we can connect some days.
I would love that. So that's where it ended. And there's more coming on this paper. It's going to be published very soon on several different sites and a journal. I think that's the exciting thing about this whole ETS adventure, is that presenting the paper is not the end goal. Once the paper has been presented, now it opens up doors and new opportunities that will end in, hopefully, like you said, connecting with those Bible translators and talking about this topic that most people, I feel like 99% of Christians, don't even think about.
This whole, should of his flesh and his bones actually be in there or not? Most people, I feel like, are like, whatever, I'll take it or leave it. It's like the illustration I gave last time. You can see an open field and go, well, that's an open field. I guess you can plow there. You can maybe grow some crops, maybe build an apartment complex, maybe a shopping mall.
Maybe you can have a big old landfill. I mean, that's all there is to it. But what if somebody comes to you and says, hey, there's a diamond there. We know for a fact. We know there's a diamond there. We just cannot locate the exact spot, location.
But it's in this parameter, this field, which is, say, 100 yards by 200 yards, it's there. Yeah. I'd be like, finders keepers? Yeah. Yeah. I'm out there.
For 10 years. If that diamond is worth a billion dollars, like we said the last time, I would dig. And so also when it comes to papers like this, when you see the open field, you go, eh, I'd rather do something else. I'd rather preach. I'd rather write a book. But when you begin to dig and you realize what potential that diamond brings for your life and for the lives of others, you can change and transform this community with a billion dollars, right? I mean, I would definitely say you'd completely, radically transform this community.
Now, of course, Jesus Christ is the one who can truly transform the heart, but you can bring in so many opportunities. So also with a text like this, at first, it seems like such a boring thing you're doing. And haven't everybody talked about it already? But if you spend some time on it, really study it, really dig into it, you go, wait, there is so much potential sitting here.
We're sitting on a diamond mine. Yeah, maybe we can talk about that potential today. We can talk about of his flesh and of his bones. What is the significance of that phrase being included in the text? Sure, sure. Yeah. Well, let's back up a little bit. And just to give you an understanding, a lot of discussion has happened over this reading.
Okay. Of course, I read from Bruce Metzger, the text critical giant, and his textual commentary gave just a brief synopsis of shorter reading could have come because of homeotile utens, some scribes skipped over. Longer reading could be a scrabble expansion based on the Old Testament quotation in the very next verse in Ephesians 5 31.
So based on that, it's a scrabble expansion. Now, even though you guys did not get trained as textual critics, you could see how far fetched that was. Yeah, it feels like a lot of extra steps to do that for kind of... I don't want to say little payoff, but just he had to make that judgment call. It seems like you have kind of reached your conclusion already, and then you're just kind of creating the pathway that led you to that conclusion. Exactly. And that sometimes happens a lot. You know, sometimes happens a lot. That happens a lot.
Yeah. Well, it feels like also kind of a risk for a scribe knowing full well the risk of adding to the scripture, adding things that they feel like, I feel like this will be a good thing to add, and I'm going to make that judgment call. It seems like a huge risk for a scribe to take. The more you study scribal habits, okay, I want our listeners, viewers to kind of understand this. Scribal habits play a big role in making decisions regarding readings, and scholars like James Royce, my own professor, Dr. Maurice Robinson, scholars like Edward Eboho, Dirk Jonkind, and so many others. They have spent, David Parker, they have spent a lot of their lives studying scribal habits. How do scribes make these decisions?
And this is a very intricate science. It's more than just like, oh, he dropped this letter here and all that. Even down to the psychological aspect of taking the time to look at a reading and going back to it, and if there's a problem there, the hesitation itself is sometimes noted in the script. There's a hesitation, and that's reflected in the way the ink comes out. It's reflected in the way you stop and then begin. Like when you pause a pen on a piece of paper, the ink kind of spreads. So a lot of these things that we may sort of know by happenstance, just like you said just now, like you leave it there and the ink grows, this is a science to it.
I'm not an expert on scribal habits by no means, but I've read on it a lot, and it's amazing how scholars have done research, and you have to document their research. It's not like you can sit there and just make up stuff like, well, what if they do this, and then this can happen, and maybe he did this? No, you have to show this is happening repeatedly. There's a pattern here. Compare manuscripts, and there's a pattern there, and then you make decisions. So scribes typically, when they come to this, will do this. And from there, you can start drawing inferences based on patterns that you see. And even there, it's not a hard and fast science, because sometimes it may just be the scribe did it, and somebody else coincidentally did it too. Does that mean it's the same thing happening, same scenario?
Probably not. It's so fascinating to think about so many different layers of approaching a text and a copy and a manuscript and understanding of what goes into those scribes copying over the years and over the centuries. It's fascinating. Yeah, there's so much there. And I want our listeners and viewers to understand, because when it comes to apologetics, we usually just get down to the conclusions and just throw the conclusions back and forth at each other.
Take the time to dig in. Take the time to go deep like I am and understand some of these things, and your responses to people's allegations against scripture and against the gospel will get richer. It feels like a lot of today's apologetics are like TikTok apologetics, where we are where we're playing logic games rather than looking at evidence.
Like there seems to be a lack of comparing evidence in modern day apologetics. I mean, maybe I'm off base saying that. No, you're right.
You're right. And it's fine, but it quickly gets dismissed because, oh, yeah, I heard that before. But what if I like the information I gave last time that when it comes to handwriting, you have papyrus, you have unseals, you have minuscule, you have parchments, you have lectionaries. Now, these are not all, you know, distinct categories.
They're overlaps. So some papyrus are on unseals. I mean, some unseals are on papyrus. Some unseals are on parchment. But they're both unseals, and yet this is papyrus unseal. This is parchment unseal. Now, for those who don't know, papyrus is made out of the plant. Parchments is made out of skin, goat skin, two different things.
Unseal, capital letters. Minuscules are small letters. Minuscules are on parchment because they came later, 9th century on, 8th, 9th century on. Parchments came earlier. Right, right.
I'm sorry, papyrus came earlier. So there's a lot of overlaps, but minuscules came 9th century, 8th century, and parchments began even earlier, you know, 2nd century, maybe even earlier than that. So it's so many overlaps and these fine prints that get missed. And I want our listeners and viewers to understand the fine print because it will sharpen your apologetics. Mm-hmm. We talked about on the show before how the field of textual criticism, specifically for the New Testament, has moved away from its original goal, which was get back to the original text, which is what your paper is an extension of that, I guess, quest, for lack of a better word. Yes, of course. Do you feel like this lack of looking at evidence, like we talked about, this TikTok apologetics where we're just arriving at the conclusions, has factored into that shifting of the goal posts? Oh, I don't know if that had any factor in it, but it definitely contributes to the misconceptions.
I think so. You know, when you don't go deeper, you just stay surface level, then everybody just argues from already agreed upon points or disagreed upon points and nobody stops and says, wait, have you considered this? Like the shorter reading, longer reading? Hey, it's because Scribe's expanded. Well, have you considered that maybe it is so far-fetched that they may not have expanded?
And then it's like, this is an outdated point. We already decided that they did. Right. Because Bruce Metzger said that. Right. So why are we just moving on? Why are we sitting here listening to this paper about you talking about something we decided 50 something years ago? Right.
Because the diamond is still there and it needs to be found. Exactly. So now going back to this reading, scholars, text critics, commentators have gone back and forth on it. The suspicion regarding this reading actually began, get ready for this, began in the 17th century. Really? This is an old argument. It's an old issue.
Wow. It started by a man by the name of John Mill, not John Mills, John Mill. And John Mill lived about 1645 to 1707, and he was the first one to put an edition out with textual variants.
Now, there were others who had done that here and there. But he's the one who went out and gathered textual variants as much as he could from the existing manuscripts that were available to him and created this edition where he had reading, I mean, where he had the text and then underneath textual variants. So like we see in our modern Bibles today, where it'll say like some manuscripts omit this.
John Mill did that first. Earlier manuscripts didn't include blah, blah, blah. John Mill actually listed the manuscripts. Our Bibles don't list the manuscripts. Some of them may do like RFP or A or something like that, but typically the English Bibles don't list manuscripts.
It'll just say, hey, just for the record, some do this and some don't. OK. Our Greek New Testament, like Nesilal in 28 or 27, 26, or UBS 5, UBS 4, they will have that. Or the Tyndall House Greek New Testament, which is based on Trigellus' New Testament. It has these textual variants. And then there are others, older ones like Westcott and Hord or Lachman's, they will have textual variants. But the first one to really systematically list them was this scholar by the name of John Mill. And he listed about 30,000 variants in his Greek New Testament. That's incredible.
Yeah. And so when people first saw that, they went crazy on John Mill. They're like, what a heretic, what a bad person. Bad person, because you are trying to cause people to doubt God's word.
By showing all these differences. You are shaking people's faith. Now here's what I'm going to say. Sometimes it may seem like that, but be careful. I'd rather you investigate and go, OK, so this is really a case.
And if it's really a case, let's now see how we can interpret this. Many people did not go that extent. They just were so protective over the faith that they just lambasted John Mill. And another scholar by the name of Richard Bentley kind of rose up in support of John Mill. And John Mill sort of died prior to even his work becoming popular.
He didn't really get that redemption arc that we want for him. Yeah, he didn't. But people began to argue back and forth. And I did a paper on that at one time. And so the Christian world was sort of not prepared for these variant readings.
Wow. Although people knew all along there were variants in the text. Do you feel like that attitude is still there now where Christians don't really want to tackle the issue of variants because that means we have to, and I'm putting this in quotes, we have to accept the fact that there are errors in the text? Yeah, yeah.
But I'm sitting here to tell you, you don't have to then conclude that there are errors in the text. Right. Right.
There are differences in the manuscripts, but they don't go that far. They're like, let's just, if this is the edge of the cliff, let's put the wall over here. And what I'm saying to them is, no, no, no, let's come to the cliff because there is a very nice, what do you call, like a fence and barrier down there. You're not going to go off the cliff, but if you don't come to the cliff, you will never see the beautiful site in front of you.
Yeah. They're like, no, that's good enough. I'm going to build a huge wall of China right here. So you don't ever get close to the cliff. Don't even look at the cliff. Don't even look at the cliff.
Turn away. Look at the wall. Yeah.
Yeah. Massive wall right here. Can't see anything. And I'm like, no, you got to come to the cliff to enjoy the view, but you're scared. But what if I tell you this is a very nice protective fence there?
You're not going to go over. That's what I was going to ask is if that position comes from a place of fear. Oh, absolutely. Like just I'm scared that this is going to rattle my faith. I'm scared that this is going to disprove God's word. And just like just a spirit of fear, like a lack of faith in the inerrancy and the accuracy of God's word.
It's like inside. I have doubts. I have doubts about God's word being inherent, but I'll be punished for having doubts. So I can't even get near that issue. I'm not taking the risk.
Right. I don't want to take that risk because for me to say that I have doubts or for me to put that idea in anybody else's head that there may be doubts about these variants. I'll be either punished by that by God or by my Christian peers.
Let's not even go there. You will never go far, whether it's in your life or the Christian life without taking risks. Here's the catch. Take calculated risks.
Don't just take risks. Take calculated risks and you will be OK. And this is a calculated risk where we're going to look at those variants, study them, and still believe in an inerrant text. And we have to invest our life and our knowledge in making it come to light. I like the fact that you point out that it's science because people will go out of their way to paint you and other text critics as the opposite of scientists, because you actually have the foolishness to believe this text.
It's not just about critiquing it or not critiquing it about studying it. You are foolish enough to actually believe it. And that's what they'll say. And I love the fact that you're like, no, this is a science and we are scientists. What links us is that we're in a pursuit of truth, but we know what the truth is.
Right. Then that's so important for us as people who are not regularly involved in the textual criticism field, although Jon and I are exposed to a little bit more than others because of the work that you do, Dr. Shah. But it's so important for us to understand that there is a science that goes into what you hold in your hands as God's word. And that is the glory of God. The concealer matter has the glory of kings to discover them. And this is part of how God has designed this world. And he has hidden these truths and by perseverance and a desire after God that we seek after them. And we set aside fruitless pursuits so we can go towards fruitful pursuits.
And this discovering the text, I feel like for my life, at least, is a fruitful pursuit. Amen. Absolutely. That's our heart on the Clear View Today show. We're going to continue this discussion on tomorrow's episode. We're still digging in that field for that diamond. There's still more to uncover.
So we're going to check back in with you guys tomorrow. We're going to find it, too. We're going to find it. You're going to find it with us. But if you guys enjoyed today's episode, you learned something today about your Bibles, about the translation process, and about textual criticism in general, write in and let us know.
2-5-2-5-8-2-5-0-2-8. Of course, you can visit us online at ClearViewTodayShow.com. And don't forget, you can partner with us financially on that same website. We love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clear View Today.
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