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
Critics of Ipsissima Vox
- Donald E. Green
- Robert N. Wilkin
- John W. Montgomery