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
- Jesus probably spoke mostly Aramaic, so most of what we have recorded in the gospels is already a translation.
- Jesus probably spent hours teaching, yet most of the didactic passages in the gospels take mere minutes to read.
- The gospel writers do not agree word-for-word in many parallel passages, but rather thought-for-thought.
Arguments against Ipsissima Vox
- It opens the door for doubt in the doctrines of the inerrancy, sufficiency, and clarity of Scripture.
- It questions the ability of the Holy Spirit to enable the gospel writers to recall the words of Jesus.
- 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)
- Grant Osborne
- Darrell Bock
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) ISBN 0310211395
- 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