Wednesday, May 07, 2008

White's "dandy" declaration


Another matter in regard to James White and his dubious "belief" as to the Eternal Sonship of Christ back in the 1990s, has to do with the John MacArthur Study Bible. We have taken notice of this before here, but it bears repeating again since James White has never, to my knowledge, repudiated his endorsement of the MacArthur Study Bible.

James said he had this Bible, adding "and a dandy one it is, too" (Email, Nov. 12, 1997).

The fact is, both editions of MacArthur's Bible are theologically lacking as to the historic creedal view of the Eternal Sonship of Christ.

Both of them reduce the Sonship of Christ to an "office" which had a "beginning," and refer to Christ in eternity past by the non-creedal and non-scriptural term, "Second Person" (MSB, pages 1897, 1908, on Heb. 1:5, 7:16).

If JMac intended to revise his notes, it is obvious he has "a ways to go" in his revision work. There is still need for revision.

The 2006 edition of this Study Bible is just as poor on the Sonship of Christ as the original. The original MSB used the New American Standard Bible and the revised MSB uses the NKJV, and both versions have good textual renderings of Hebrews 7:3, upholding the Eternal Sonship of Christ; however, in both editions of the MSB, in his notes MacArthur opts for the Syriac Pershitta as a better translation.

The revised MSB, though using the New King James Version, sets aside the NKJV rendering of Hebrews 7:3 -- one of the strongest verses in the Bible presenting the Eternal Sonship of Christ -- and alleges that the Nestorian "ancient Syriac Pershitta" is a "better translation." This ancient version completely negates Hebrews 7:3 as affirming the Eternal Sonship of Christ.

Even though the JMac Bible was supposedly "revised" after MacArthur recanted the "incarnational sonship" idea, the same ideas on "sonship" remain in the "revised" Bible, and MacArthur's name is therefore still associated with non-creedal views on Sonship by means of the notes in this Bible.

James White thought the first edition of MacArthur's Bible was a "dandy," and we have not heard or seen where he has changed his mind about first edition, nor what he thinks about the second edition.



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