Ipsissima Vox vs. Ipsissima Verba
Ipsissima Vox is a Latin expression meaning “the very voice”, and describes the view that the New Testament Gospel-accounts capture the concepts that Jesus expressed, but not exact words. Ipsissima Vox is contrasted with Ispissima Verba, meaning “the very words”.
Arguments for Ipsissima Vox [instead of Ipsissima Verba, or “His Voice” versus “His Words”]
1.Jesus probably spoke mostly Aramaic, so most of what we have recorded in the gospels is already a translation.
2.Jesus probably spent hours teaching, yet most of the didactic passages in the gospels take mere minutes to read.
3.The gospel writers do not agree word-for-word in many parallel passages, but rather thought-for-thought.
Arguments against Ipsissima Vox [but for Ipsissima Verba]
1.It opens the door for doubt in the doctrines of the inerrancy, sufficiency, and clarity of Scripture.
2.It questions the ability of the Holy Spirit to enable the gospel writers to recall the words of Jesus.
3.It fails to account for Luke’s assertion in Luke 1:4 ("…that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught." ESV) and Jesus’ claim in John 14:26 (“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” ESV)
Proponents of Ipsissima Vox
•Daniel Wallace (a paper presented at the 1999 annual ETS meeting presented titled “An Apologia for a Broad View of Ipsissima Vox” - online text unavailable)
Critics of Ipsissima Vox
•Donald E. Green
•Robert N. Wilkin
•John W. Montgomery
•“The Words of Jesus in the Gospels: Live, Jive, or Memorex?” by Darrell Bock in Jesus Under Fire,
eds. Michael Wilkins
and J.P. Moreland (Zondervan, 1995)
•Historical Criticism And The Evangelical, by Grant Osborne (JETS)
•Evangelicals and Ipsissima Vox (PDF), by Donald Green
•Toward a Narrow View of Ipsissima Vox, by Robert Wilkin
•Evangelicals and Biblical Criticism: The Continuing Saga, by John Montgomery
◦Historicity of the Old Testament
◦Historicity of New Testament
•Development of the canon
•Theological interpretation of Scripture
•Illumination of the Holy Spirit
•New Testament use of the Old Testament