The answer to all this is common sense.
Over the last 5 years, many of these posts have discussed the Textus Receptus (Greek New Testament) and the Masoretic Text (Hebrew Old Testament). These are the preserved texts upon which we must base any translations that are made.
These are what have historically been called, the Received Text.
The only translation today, that is based solely on these texts is the King James Version. Whether you like that translation or not, it is an accurate one. And it is based on perfect copies of the original texts.
The preserved texts are copies of copies that God, in His sovereignty, has kept in accurate, word-for-word form. Supernaturally overseeing the copying process from one generation to the next.
Why the Deviation from the Preserved Texts?
No other texts that we have fit this criteria. Nor do any other texts even come close.
The old Received Text has served the church since its beginning. While not always know by that name, it has existed in the church since the Apostles first wrote the inspired words. Just as the Lord preserved the Old Testament text for thousands of years before that.
Then, in 1881, two Englishmen, Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort, changed everything. They introduced a new text to the world.
This new text was a combination of two separate lines of text that were in serious disagreement with each other. Whose textual lineage went back to Alexandria in Egypt; which was a hive of doctrinal heresy. With a reputation for rampant textual corruption.
This new text was introduced with the express intent to supplant the Textus Receptus from its place of authority within the church.
Nevertheless, the work these men did, was accepted by the popular Christian world. Since then, there has been a long series of revisions to that text. Revisions that continue to this day.
The Default Position
I am perfectly aware that many will read these words in anger.
Some may say that, “This line of discussion is not helpful.”
Which is the Evangelical default position for anything that threatens contemporary Evangelical thinking. Many pastors believe that the version and translation issue was put to bed long ago. And that churches don’t have to deal with this issue anymore.
It’s old news,
But, that does not change the truth or the urgency of this matter.
The Word in Our Hands
Nevertheless, There is hope in the midst of all this.
We DO still have the word of God in our hands today. It has remained with us all these thousands of years.
Because, we never lost it.
Which is contrary to what Westcott and Hort told us. And a host of other Evangelical and Fundamental scholars have told us. And what pastors and universities and evangelists have all told us.
What they have NOT told us is that as long as we continue to accept these new translations, which are based on something other than the Received Text, we will continue to move away from truth.
It is as simple as that.
Time to Do Our Own Research
This is not a popular position. This does not please most of those in Evangelical or Fundamental churches.
When was the last time you heard a mention of the Textus Receptus or the Masoretic Text in church? Or anything, in depth, about textual history? Or how about Translation method? What about formal equivalency over dynamic equivalency as the correct method of textual translation?
How about a solid course about this within the church?
The best you might ever get is something to counter the position I have just explained. To silence the voices that plead for a return to sanity in our handling of God’s words.
My guess is that you haven’t.
The Foundation Stands Sure
I understand the path that has to be taken in order to grasp these things. This is not a simple topic. It demands careful study and confirmation.
It takes time to walk this path. I, personally, did not come to this conclusion over night.
In my early Christian life, I read whatever translation was in my grasp. The stack of translations in the opening image of the previous post is testament to that. Those are just some of my copies that have been worn out over the years.
So, I don’t approach this as someone without experience.
Like most of you, I have been taught that this is not a big deal. That this is just a mole hill and not a mountain. That the scholars have this under control.
And that debates over translations and texts simply divides the church.
Therefore, I will be creating a Special Section in this blog over the next few weeks; to provide a starting point for those wishing to check on these concepts in greater depth.
My hope is that these resources will help many of my fellow believers to think through the Doctrine of Bible Preservation.
Which is the forgotten and neglected doctrine of our age.
May God help us all and open our eyes.
“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)
Image by Samuel Holzmann from Pixabay