July 25, 2005 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, -

I have a challenge to fundamentalists who have adopted modern textual criticism and the Greek New Testament that was produced by this methodology, chiefly today being the Nestles-United Bible Societies. This challenge is for professors at Bob Jones University, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, etc., and graduates thereof, etc., who have adopted this Greek text and its underlying theories.

As fundamentalists, I assume that you and I are one in the belief that the Bible is the sole authority for faith and practice. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we are taught that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is able to make the man of God “perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” Either one of these terms (
perfect or throughly furnished) would be sufficient to demonstrate that the Scripture is all-sufficient for the man of God, that Scripture is the sole authority for faith and practice; but the Spirit of God has added term upon term to emphasize the importance of this doctrine.

It is because of my conviction on this hand that I have tested the theories of modern textual criticism against the Scripture over the past 25 years. And I can show you my biblical authority for
not practicing textual criticism. I have studied the theories of Griesbach, Lachmann, Tregelles, Tischendorf, Westcott and Hort, Lake, Kenyon, Metzger, and Aland, and I can show you Scripture against every point of modern textual criticism (see my upcoming 800-page book Faith vs. the Modern Bible Versions).

Since we share the belief that the Bible is the SOLE authority for faith and practice, I challenge you to show me in the Bible your clear Scriptural authority for practicing textual criticism and for each point of textual criticism.

Please begin with the foundational point of modern textual criticism that the best text of the New Testament (the Alexandrian represented by the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus manuscripts) was replaced in the earliest centuries by a manmade and corrupt “recension” (the Traditional or Byzantine text) and was not “recovered” until the 19th century and thus was not used by the churches in general for 1,500 years of church history.

I will be waiting.

A concerned brother in Christ,

David Cloud