Evangelicals and Ipsissima Vox

Don E. Green | May 21, 2010

The ipsissima vox position views the Gospels as containing the concepts that Jesus expressed, but not His very words. This essay focuses on the use of ancient history and parallel scriptural passages to support the ipsissima vox view. Advocates of this view regularly cite Thucydides as furnishing a pattern for how NT writers quoted their sources, but this precedent breaks down for a number of reasons. In addition, it does not take into account the difference between Greco-Roman writers and Jewish historiography. The reliance of ipsissima vox on parallel passages in the Synoptic Gospels also falters. On one hand, proponents of the position use accounts of events that prove nothing regarding accounts of spoken words. On the other hand, they make no allowance for explanations in accounts of spoken words that adequately account for differences by assuming an ipsissima verba view of the quotations. A further failing of the ipsissima vox position is its failure to account for the role of the Holy Spirit in the inspiration of the Gospels. Recent evangelical proponents of this system have yielded too much ground in their discussions of the accuracy of these books.

Vol. 12, no. 1 (Spring 2001)

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Green, Don E.. "Evangelicals and Ipsissima Vox." The Master's Seminary Journal 12, no. 1 (Spring 2001): 49-68.