Any leader today can claim to believe the essence of truth.
And there is little that the Christian, standing upon the modern texts, can say to correct him. Because the words in the modern texts are like shifting sand.
And, as such, promise neither accuracy nor authority.
Oh, wait. Correction. They DO promise those things. They just can’t deliver on those things.
The Basis of Truth
To help explain the basic problem we have with modern biblical texts, consider the following scenario.
A popular teacher may attempt to allegorize the meaning of scripture instead of believing the historical accuracy of God’s words. Which is an increasingly popular trend in Evangelical circles.
By doing so, he hopes to avoid offending those with a more cultivated background. Which the literal interpretation of the scriptures has a reputation for doing — offending, that is.
The strategy is, that by spiritualizing or symbolizing passages, a Christian may accept one chapter as history and allegorize the next. As suits his own agenda. Avoiding the problems of a young earth, a global flood, a man being swallowed by a whale, or even a man rising from the dead.
And on what basis is one able to tell him that his interpretation is wrong?
Especially when the words he is reading are from a different translation than those used by his listeners.
Because, according to popular Christian scholarship, we no longer have anything specific to place against a teacher’s essence of truth. The best we can do is to gather up a bunch of translations that seem to say the same thing.
Thinking that having more similar translations that back up an argument, is equal to absolute truth.
You have 5 translations. I have 10. Therefore, I win.
Trusting Popular Wisdom
And when the question arises from the false teachers, “Upon what are your translations based? Are those the very words of God? Are those the words that God actually spoke?”
How do we answer that?
The popular wisdom is to ignore them. To pretend that we have truth that is “close enough”. That there isn’t any significant deviation between one modern text or the other.
So that, therefore, any translation, from the texts, can’t be that bad. It will just have a different style. A different emphasis. A different perspective.
And that major doctrines are not affected.
This is the typical, know-it-all, don’t-worry-about-it attitude of modern Evangelicals. This is what the scholars have taught the student pastors and leaders in the Christian universities over the last 100 years.
Who have orchestrated the deafening silence over this issue during that same period.
Who have taught us poor, dumb Christians in the pews to just keep quiet about it. And to avoid any controversy over Bible texts and translations.
And to just trust those with the knowledge and expertise about texts and translations to tell us what is true.
We Choose Our Authority
The bottom line is that we have abandoned our trust in the Lord to perfectly preserve His words. To perfectly preserve His specific written words.
We have failed to believe His promise to do that. Because we have allowed, as in so many other things, the popular consensus to sway our view of truth. In this case, our view on textual history.
Just as we do with popular science — tossed to and fro by the popular consensus of scientific thought. While supposedly Christian organizations tell us that science must be our guide to correctly interpret what the scriptures really mean.
So, it is either popular science, popular culture, popular Christian scholarship, or popular religious tradition. Take your pick which authority you will follow.
Choose which of these things will guide your view of God’s word.
Words are the Foundation
Because of this, the enemies of God laugh at us.
Because they know, only too well, how critical the perfect preservation of the word of God really is.
And that mainstream Christianity no longer stands upon words anymore. All they can attempt to agree on is the essence of truth. The ideas. The general thoughts.
Which is why you see so little emphasis on doctrinal truth anymore. Because doctrine is based upon specific words. The specific written words of God.
And if everyone in a congregation has a different translation, who’s to say which of those is the word of God? To claim such a thing would be considered narrow minded. And it would certainly offend many in the church.
And Evangelicals must avoid offense at all cost.
To Be Concluded . . .