Jeff Riddle interacts with James White’s answers to issues related to Textual Criticism [Audio]

On the latest episode (# 25) of his podcast, Word Magazine, Jeff Riddle interacts with the following YouTube video from Wretched Radio in which host Todd Friel interviews James White regarding issues related to text and translation of Scripture:

This snippet is part of a larger resource we previously featured entitled, New Testament Reliability: Can you trust your Bible? [DVD].

new testament reliability james white


Pastor Jeff Riddle
Pastor Jeff Riddle

Jeff Riddle:

I took exception to several things in the video including:


1.  Confusing a concern for the traditional text of Scripture with KJV-Onlyism.


2.  Undermining the traditional text by disparaging Erasmus’ printed edition of the Greek New Testament (1516), including charges that the edition was riddled with errors because Erasmus rushed the work into print to beat Cardinal Ximenes’Complutensian Polyglott to the market and that the ending of Revelation (the last 5 or 6 verses) is filled with “bizarre” readings.


3.  The implication that the so-called Comma Johanneum (in 1 John 5:7-8) in the TR lacks ancient attestation.


4.  The implication that support for the traditional text is rooted merely in threadbare traditionalism.


Here also are some links to resources mentioned in the podcast:

a.  My blogpost (tract):  A Brief Guide to Bible Translations.

b.  Google Books entry for Anne Reeve, Ed., Erasmus’ Annotations on the New Testament:  The Gospels (London:  Duckworth, 1986).

c.  Franz Delitzsch’s Handschriftliche Funde (Leipzig, 1861).

Here is the audio [mp3]:

14 Replies to “Jeff Riddle interacts with James White’s answers to issues related to Textual Criticism [Audio]”

  1. Very, very, VERY disappointed here. I just listened to Riddle’s comments, and, well, I had wished for fair treatment from a fellow Reformed Baptist pastor! Why not refer to a book I wrote on this topic that has been in print since 1995? Why refer only to my answers to quick questions from Todd Friel rather than the substance of my presentation itself? Why the repeated assertions that I am trying to “undermine” this or that (rather than honestly allowing my own clearly stated purposes to speak)? So many things to address! One that is a bit humorous, I suppose: Pastor Riddle makes the claim that the NA28 offers “conjectural emendations” that have no manuscript support as part of his criticism of my comments on the Comma Johanneum, a text that, if it is original, destroys all hope of an accurate NT manuscript tradition, I might add. Anyway, he says that I and others like me are being inconsistent to promote the NA28 for its cj’s (as they were noted in the earlier apparati). Two problems: 1) the cj’s are never put in the text, and hence are not translated by any translation; 2) these cj’s, which appeared in earlier editions of the NA text, have been REMOVED from the NA28. They are gone from the apparatus. See, for example, the Bradshaw cj noted for “agra” in 2 Peter 3:10 in NA27, but gone in NA28.

    Well, it has been a while since we addressed some of these issues on the Dividing Line, and I just don’t know if I have enough time before going to South Africa, but I will try to sneak in a review of the primary problems and, sadly, misrepresentations, in Pastor Riddle’s comments.

      1. Not looking forward to it. White’s only justification for what he is doing is “…otherwise Bart Ehrman will make fun of us!” Not to mention finger-wagging Muslims mocking us Christians who – gasp – believe in supernatural preservation. Scholars who engage in constructing the Bible from divergent manuscripts (some cartoonishly corrupt and mutilated) consider the Bible – by default, inherently – as something that needs them more than they need it. The Bible becomes a mere document like any other man-constructed text document. The atheist scholars accept this approach within themselves consciously; the believing scholars are un-self-aware regarding this. The overall effect is exactly what the Jesuits of the Counter-Reformation attempted in the 16th century. Defile confidence in the Word of God within believing Christians (those evil Protestants) and turn them back to the ‘authority’ of the word of man (the Romanist Magisterium). Short of that, create a situation of weak and constantly attacked faith. The Devil can only play for time, he can annoy God’s plan, but he can’t defeat God’s plan, which basically means harassing the process of the regeneration of God’s elect by the Word and the Spirit. God’s elect know the voice of the Shepherd though, ultimately, and all obstacles will be overcome by God’s people through the power and victory of Jesus Christ.

        1. Michael, what are you talking about? Sounds like you’re creating a straw man in your description of Dr. White. In fact, you’re not being honest. Please deal with the substance of the arguments and not a caricature of your own making.

          1. Why don’t you be more specific. Cite one thing I said you think is dishonest. When White is called to the carpet like this (and if you listen to Riddle’s presentation it is impressive in substance and delivery) he always freaks out and starts throwing dirt up into the air. His followers joining in. I share White’s doctrine re Calvinism in general, on the manuscripts issues he is delinquent and playing for the wrong side. Carson, on this subject, once said when he defended the Critical Text and its products: “People will think I’m a modernist or a dupe…” Well, he said it…

          2. Michael, yes, specifics are useful, aren’t they?…

            Here’s how you’re being dishonest: Summing up “White’s only justification for what he is doing” as avoiding potential embarrassment from the likes of Ehrman and “finger-wagging Muslims” is dishonest. …Is that REALLY White’s justification for “what he is doing”? If so, I encourage you to do as you’ve asked me to do and cite where he has stated that as his primary justification for his argumentation.

            Bottom line: I don’t need to defend James White. He has spent more than two decades defending the faith and fighting for Truth. But like he already said in the comment above and in the more recent video (, Pastor Riddle’s “calling White to the carpet,” as you put it, is based on a short video clip and not the substance of his fuller presentation on these matters. Curious.

    1. James White,
      Regarding the “humorous” item that you mentioned:
      Jeff Riddle claimed that the NA28 has readings in its text that have zero extant Greek manuscript support. You reply here by saying:
      “1) the cj’s are never put in the text.”
      That is simply incorrect. Readings with no Greek manuscript support are adopted by NA28 in Acts 16:12 and in Second Peter 3:10.

      You continue:
      “They are gone from the apparatus. See, for example, the Bradshaw cj noted for “agra” in 2 Peter 3:10 in NA27, but gone in NA28.”

      That has nothing to do with what Jeff Riddle was talking about. The reading in Second Peter 3:10 that has no Greek manuscript support, but has been adopted in the text of NA28, is not Bradshaw’s conjecture (that ERGA should be followed by “ARGA”). Riddle was referring, instead, to the variant-unit at the very end of the verse. The compilers of NA28 adopted “OUC EUREQHSETAI” (“shall not be found”), adding “OUC” without any Greek manuscript support.

      The name of the person who made the humorous mistake about the NA28’s adoption of a reading in Second Peter 3:10 that has no Greek manuscript support is not Jeff Riddle.

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