Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Debating the Text of the Word of God” as Want to Read:
Debating the Text of the Word of God
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Debating the Text of the Word of God

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Christians believe that the Bible is the "word of God." But to what text does this refer? Is it the Bible translation I hold in my hands? Is it a textual family behind the King James Version? Is it a modern critical text, with its attempt to recover a single "original"? Or is it something else?

In this lively debate about the world's most influential book, two Christian in
Paperback, 104 pages
Published 2017 by Simposio LLC
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Debating the Text of the Word of God, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Debating the Text of the Word of God

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  67 ratings  ·  27 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Debating the Text of the Word of God
Shawn Paterson
Sep 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Enjoyed the short debate. Was first introduced to this topic by listening to White, and I am now studying under Wilson. My main critique is for the publisher. The Q/A for both participants in the end is a good idea. But the questions felt subpar and kind of silly. Otherwise, I think this is an interesting format and a great length. I look forward to future publications.
Terrence Daugherty
I wanted to give this book five stars; I wanted to be convinced of Wilson's position. I still do. I still want to hear and read the best arguments for the Ecclesiastical text. However, White's sensationalist prose aside, Wilson received a shellacking that had to be humbling.

Textual criticism is not a field of study to be taken lightly. Nor is it a place for half-baked argumentation. Don't get me wrong. My respect for Wilson is strong, but my admiration for his knowledge in this field is nil bec
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wilson's position is all about the canon. Has some weight to it in light of the canonical structure and history, and of the way NT writers quote the OT Scriptures. White seems to discount any kind of canonical input that is not run through the lens of methodical doubt first, and he insists on figuring out the exact text of the original autographs. I wonder what he would say about the canonical structure of the two testaments, does it have any kind of authority? The structure of the NT is covenan ...more
Sam James
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: apologetic
My two heroes going head to head about the priority of either the Alexandrian manuscript family ( more modern methods of textual criticism) or the Byzantine (more traditional) - very technical so you have to pay attention - I listened to it on audible on a long car journey.
JR Snow
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology, scripture
Very enjoyable read. In short: James White decisively won the debate at hand (about the best foundation greek NT) but as always, Wilson was the most fun to read. :-). This was a short book (about 100 pages) and I highly recommend it. eagerly waiting for the audio/video of the debate to be posted.
Todd Bryant
Dec 29, 2020 rated it liked it
First off, this book deals with a subject I've studied rather extensively (for a non-scholar) for some number of years. A true discussion of NT manuscripts really must begin foundationally with the formation of the NT Canon. Lots of information drives this debate beyond what is presented here. If you are looking for a deeper introduction to Textual Criticism, I'd pass on this book. There are far better works on both sides of the aisle (and you should read both). Reading this book is like stickin ...more
Ben Zornes
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'd liken this book to a fencing match between two friends. They practice their swordplay, and are both skilled in the art, but each takes a different tact. However, their fencing is no mere hobby, but it is training for warfare. The Word of God is under continual assault from without the church and within. Unbelieving lions would like to undermine the integrity/reliability of the text of Scripture, while wolves from within endeavor to wrest the Scriptures.

Wilson and White each care deeply about
Patrick S.
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible
I'm a fan of both these men and have heard them debate before on another subject. Both are Reformed and have high respect for the Word of God. I have a feeling that people who are interested in this subject might find ways of talking past the arguments presented (on both sides). So this book/debate might serve those of us who have an interest in textual criticism but not super passionate about this particular subject.

The book is well laid out like a proper debate would be conducted. I really, re
Joey Tomlinson
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the families of manuscripts that underlay our translations- Wilson argues for the TR (Byzantine manuscripts) and White for the NA/UBS (Alexandrian manuscripts). This is an important conversation and Christians should be engaged with it.
Josiah Richardson
Very quick read. I had hoped that this would have been a written debate between a TR guy vs a CT guy, but unfortunately it was a debate between two reconstructionists (not in the theonomic sense). Wilson was a TR preferred guy and he didn't do the greatest job in my lowly opinion. Where he had Dr. White on the mat, in a headlock, leglock, and armlock, Wilson just got up and walked away (looking at the questions he asked Dr. White). Dr. White was jumping all over the place and the questions that ...more
Matt Pelto
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
A short but informative debate on the difference between the Modern Eclectic Text perspective and the Traditional/Ecclesiastical Text perspective as regards the Greek text of the New Testament. While I came into it thoroughly convinced of the Modern side, the debate was still informative. The debate was clear and decisively won by White with the modern perspective, with a number of questions remaining unanswered or answered by improper circular reasoning. I do wonder whether or not Wilson is tru ...more
Jeff Short
Nov 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: biblical-text
Interesting read. James White is precise and analytical. He attempted one quip, at least that I detected. It didn't have much legs and he didn't linger or overwork it. Doug Wilson is witty and thoughtful. Of course, he worked some metaphors in and they were enjoyable. As to the arguments of each, they were mostly as expected if you're familiar with their work. Both have their own presuppositions, commitments, and perspectives. All of which is fairly obvious as you read their parts. Overall, all ...more
Kenneth Rosenblad
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very intresting form of a debate between two good and recognised theologians. Unlike live debates, they had more time to prepare an answer. Still, the time they had was limited and the wordcount was in use. But this was in a new form which I think gave a little more... I don’t know...meat to their arguments. I hope to read more debates like this. They also have this in a soundbook where the debaters themselves read in their own arguments and questions.
I enjoyed it.
Taylor DeSoto
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Douglas Wilson offers a cool, collected, cogent defense of the Holy Scriptures. James White attacks the very authority of them and spends his half of the book telling outright lies about the manuscript evidence that no scholar would agree with (for example, that we have 150 3rd century manuscript attestations to the New Testament), as well as attacking the men of God who did textual scholarship in the 16th century. Read this for Wilson's half, the other half is incoherent childish babble. ...more
Josh Stowers
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think for the formatting of this debate, there was much said. This book is refreshing for the fact that it is not talking about the "authoritative English bible"--the "renown King James" like a little man behind a big curtain, but actually talks about text families. Doug claims that the new textual criticism has brought in a spirit of unbelief. While James reminds us at what cost will we buy certainty. James white presented the price tag as truth. Good informative read. ...more
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This debate serves as a nice introduction to textual traditions (Byzantine and Alexandrian), and the two approaches behind them. I remain convinced of the textus receptus, but White raised some good questions.
Jeff Lembke
Dec 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
Very good. But I think they should have allowed one more pass at each other to follow up on questions, since one party was able to escape having to address some key points. Other than that it was good, but certainly not decisive on its own.
Christopher Brehm
Interesting read

This was an interesting read but the format was a bit cumbersome. At times it seemed they were talking past each other and I was not sure if that was intended or if it was a consequence of the format.
Joshua Jenkins
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
How we got our bibles and textual criticism is one of those topics every modern Christian should strive to understand. This little written debate is a good place to start, from two of the best guys in both camps.
Alysia Kelsey
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Great arguments, great reasoning, great men of God. What more can you ask for? Good way to start the debate...
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Tyler Box
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the best work on the subject I have found.
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good debate. Q and A could have been better. The A's were good; the Q's were lacking. ...more
Enjoyable. It’s difficult to cover a very technical field in this format. The basic issues on both sides are set out.
Vincent Stewart
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Really educational. Would love to hear more on this topic in this type of format from these authors.
Sean McGowan
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very good debate. I am with Dr. White on this issue, but Wilson brought up some legitimate points. However, some of his points were a bit off.
Alec Brunson
rated it really liked it
Jan 17, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Dec 14, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Oct 29, 2017
Leslie A Williams
rated it it was amazing
Feb 05, 2018
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Against Christianity
  • Man of the House
  • Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
  • Orthodoxy
  • Mere Calvinism
  • Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent
  • Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible
  • The Greatest Gift: A Christmas Tale
  • The Pilgrim's Progress
  • Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches
  • A More Sure Word: Which Bible Can You Trust?
  • Disciplines of a Godly Man
  • The Parable of the Wicked Mammon
  • John Wycliffe: The Life and Legacy of the English Theologian Who Preceded the Protestant Reformation
  • Skipping Christmas
  • Thoughts for Young Men
  • Unfreedom of the Press
  • The Doctrine of Repentance
See similar books…
I write in order to make the little voices in my head go away. Thus far it hasn't worked. ...more

News & Interviews

Care to travel to past times for some serious drama? Check out this season's biggest historical fiction novels and be transported to tales of...
61 likes · 20 comments
“God directly inspired the writers of the New Testament canon and so the words recorded by them in the autographs are God’s Word absolute, inerrant and infallible in all they affirm. This inspiration extends down to the Greek equivalent of jots and tittles—Jesus was emphatic about that (Matt. 5:18). And if inspiration is applied to the smallest pen strokes, it certainly should also apply to sentences, paragraphs, pericopes, and more. The relevance of the doctrine of inspiration extends into all the corners.” 1 likes
More quotes…