Again, these reviews of Barr make use of his four essays:
- UBC – Ussher and Biblical Chronology, 1985
- BCLS – Biblical Chronology: Legend Or Science?, 1987
- LBC – Luther and Biblical Chronology, 1990
- PSC – Pre-scientific Chronology, 1999
*** Barr pits the Septuagint Greek text against the Hebrew text of O.T. But Franz Pieper answered this objection nicely in his Christian Dogmatics, vol. 1, pgs 250-251:
Most of these points were answered in my blog post that brought out Franz Pieper's defense against the objections to Inspiration based on variant readings. The strongest evidence he brings is God's own promise to believers:
We know we have this Word a priori, that is, prior to any human investigation, on the basis of the divine promise.When our Savior says in His high-priestly prayer (John 17:20) that all those who will come to faith to the end of time will come to faith through the Word of the Apostles, He therewith promises us that the Word of the Apostles will be present in the Church to the Last Day. Again, when Christ admonishes all believers to continue in His Word (John 8:31-32: "If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed, and ye shall know the truth"), He guarantees that His Word will be present for us to continue in it.Although Pieper also points out reasons a posteriori (after the fact) why we have God's Word even today in our Bible, I can add to his points with a recent article by Albert Mohler, a fundamentalist Southern Baptist, on a discovery of an ancient papyrus fragment purportedly teaching that Jesus had a wife. His article is entitled "The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife? When Sensationalism Masquerades as Scholarship" and indeed shows its "discovery" is sensationalism intended to cause Christians to question their Bible.
Lest anyone think that Franz Pieper "buried his head in the sand", hear what he says further (C.D., vol. 1, pg 240):
We, too, in our theological seminary at St. Louis introduce our students to modern textual criticism. That is a part of the complete external equipment of a theologian of our day. But we point out two things to our students: 1) We know a priori from the divine promise that in our present Bible we have the Word of Christ which is to be taught in the Church and by the Church to the Last Day. 2) We recognize, too, a posteriori, that the divine providence has so wonderfully held its protecting hand over the Bible text that in spite of the variae lectiones not a single Christian doctrine has become a matter of doubt.Textual criticism was not viewed by Pieper as something necessary for Christians but rather to be defended against so that their Christian faith, which has no basis other than God's Word, would not be shaken but strengthened.
In the next Part 6f, I will cover Barr's pointed remarks about the Bible's "inconsistencies" and "errors".