original manuscripts

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Brian, Nov 14, 2001.

  1. Brian

    Brian
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    Looking around the 'net at different web sites for like churches and all I noticed something on many beliefs pages. Many say that they believe the bible is the inerrant Word of God... in the original manuscripts.

    What is meant by this statement? Anyone know?
     
  2. Ransom

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    Brian said:

    What is meant by this statement? Anyone know?

    It means that when the apostles and prophets put pen to paper, the result was without error. It's as simple as that.
     
  3. Chris Temple

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    It means that only the autographa were immediately inspired of God and wholly without error. It recognizes that all mss which are copies of copies (though providentially guided) contain copyist errors, and that no translation is immediately inspired.

    As it says in The Chicago Statement On Biblical Inerrancy, Part III Exposition Section E
    Transmission and Translation:

    Since God has nowhere promised an inerrant transmission of Scripture, it is necessary to affirm that only the autographic text of the original documents was inspired and to maintain the need of textual criticism as a means of detecting any slips that may have crept into the text in the course of its transmission. The verdict of this science, however, is that the Hebrew and Greek text appears to be amazingly well preserved, so that we are amply justified in affirming, with the Westminster Confession, a singular providence of God in this matter and in declaring that the authority of Scripture is in no way jeopardized by the fact that the copies we possess are not entirely error-free.

    Similarly, no translation is or can be perfect, and all translations are an additional step away from the autograph. Yet the verdict of linguistic science is that English-speaking Christians, at least, are exceedingly well served in these days with a host of excellent translations and have no cause for hesitating to conclude that the true Word of God is within their reach. Indeed, in view of the frequent repetition in Scripture of the main matters with which it deals and also of the Holy Spirit's constant witness to and through the Word, no serious translation of Holy Scripture will so destroy its meaning as to render it unable to make its reader wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus (II Tim. 3:15)
     
  4. BWSmith

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    It means exactly the following:

    "We fundamentalists want to be able to say that all the words of the received Protestant Canon in our hand have absolute, unquestioned, divine authority that is free from error. That way, we don't feel so bad about ourselves when we openly deny the salvation of other Baptists who, for example, believe in ordaining women pastors."

    "Since there are lots and lots of Biblical manuscripts with lots and lots of variations on those words, sometimes with entire passages missing, inserted, or rewritten; we would look like fools if we said that outright. We would also look like fools every time the errors in our supposedly inerrant text are pointed out, verse by verse."

    "Hence, rather than admit that "inerrant" may not be the best way to describe the Bible, we will instead picture in our own minds that the original manuscripts themselves, which nobody has, were completely free from error, and lay the blame for any problems in the text solely on the shoulders of those irresponsible Jewish and Greek copyists. Therefore, to the extent that all the manuscripts agree on any particular word, we can feel good in asserting that that particular word was in the original, and is therefore without error. (Unless obvious errors are in all the manuscripts, in which case we will assume that the error happened a really long time ago.)"

    "While declaring a Bible (to which no one has access) to be "inerrant" may seem to be an exercise in intellectual absurdity, hopefully few people are paying close enough attention to notice."

    "In short, "inerrancy of the autographs" allows one to declare the Bible in our hands to be without error while simultaneously diverting any evidence against inerrancy to the foot of the copyists."

    Any questions?

    [ November 14, 2001: Message edited by: BWSmith ]
     
  5. Chris Temple

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    Or rather, it means exactly as I posted above and accepting God at His word, believing the Holy Spirit's witness to the Truth.

    Psalms 119:42 So shall I have that to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word.
    Psalms 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath revived me.
    Psalms 119:114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.
    John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

    [ November 14, 2001: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  6. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Does anyone have an original manuscript...except the KJVO's of course... :D

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  7. rlvaughn

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    This may be splitting hairs, but I prefer to reserve the term inspiration for the PROCESS of giving and receiving the Bible - God to man to "paper"; then use terms like inerrant, infallible to refer to the PRODUCT created by the process. Brian, I believe most people who say "the bible is the inerrant Word of God...in the original manuscripts" are probably trying to communicate this concept. But perhaps they may actually confuse the issue. Some doctrinal statements of faith use wording like "only the original autographs are inspired". Again, they are probably trying to communicate the PROCESS was a "one time" thing, and in that process the inspiration occurred. I believe that statement, though, confuses the issue even more, and leaves people wondering if they have any access to God's Word today. My approach is like this: God gave His Word by inspiration to Holy men of old; the product obtained by this process is an accurate, inerrant, truthful (without mixture of error) statement of what God said/says to man and therefore is entitled to being portrayed honestly as the Word of God; when this or any portion thereof was copied accurately, it is STILL just as much the Word of God as when God gave it; when this or any portion thereof was/is translated accurately, it is STILL just as much the Word of God as when God gave it. Using English and Spanish as an illustration, we could say that God said, "I am the good shepherd." Now I copy this - "I am the good shepherd." It is still what God said. Now I translate it - "Yo soy el buen pastor." It is still the Word of God. Now I'm not trying to be overly simplistic; but we really need to think about this when we are using some of this terminology. And I certainly don't think this solves all the issues concerning copying and translating either. But I feel this simple illustration should show that we do not have to say that inerrancy, etc. only applies to the original manuscripts; and we do not have to fear claiming to have the true inerrant Word of God with us today as much as it was 2000 years ago. AND we do not have to adopt any theories of double or secondary inspiration to do so.

    [ November 14, 2001: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  8. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rlvaughn:
    This may be splitting hairs, but I prefer to reserve the term inspiration for the PROCESS of giving and receiving the Bible - God to man to "paper"; then use terms like inerrant, infallible to refer to the PRODUCT created by the process. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Well said.
     
  9. Brian

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    At first I thought it was a way to liberal translation. Since we don't have the original inerrant text what God really means is (what ever you want it to say).
    I'm glad it goes more the other way.
     
  10. John Wells

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    Brian,

    First of all, I agree 100% with Chris Temple and rlvaughn. Perhaps you can understand where BWSmith is coming from and why he has a problem with fundamentalism and inerrancy when you learn that he believes in evolution and has made the statement "Genesis 1 thru 11 is myth," which he would have to do to believe what evolutionists believe. Of course if Genesis 1 thru 11 is myth, then Jesus and half the writers of the Bible are liars because they quote parts of that section as fact, and well, BW has a tangled mess of a cut and paste Bible to deal with. ;) But it salvages his faith in evolution rather nicely! :eek:

    [ November 14, 2001: Message edited by: John Wells ]
     
  11. Brian

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    While I completely dissagree with Mr. Smith on this point I comend him for
    <UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>not being childish as some here are<LI>being coherent in thought and word<LI>being humorful (to me) in his sarcasm and exaggeration[/list]

    I guess this is the old fundamental/liberal thing huh?
     
  12. Brian

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    This might need to be else where....
    BW did you in fact call the first 11 chapters of the Bible myth?

    If so wow :(
     
  13. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Brian:
    While I completely dissagree with Mr. Smith on this point I comend him for
    • <LI>not being childish as some here are
    • <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

      Are you sure you read his post?
      :eek:
     
  14. Brian

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    :eek: :eek: Have you seen some of the other threads? (He rhetorically asks) :eek: :eek: :D

    [ November 15, 2001: Message edited by: Brian ]
     
  15. BWSmith

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    Wells wrote:
    &gt; Perhaps you can understand where BWSmith is coming from and why he has a problem with fundamentalism and inerrancy when you learn that he believes in evolution and has made the statement "Genesis 1 thru 11 is myth,"

    BWS: More precisely, Gen 1-11 is not literal science or history, and history begins with the patriarchs at the earliest. Gen 1-11 is symbolic, like one of Jesus's parables. The material in it was not originally written to be interpreted as history, but was integrated into the overall historical framework by the authors of Genesis. Bandstra writes:

    "The Primeval Story is not history as we ordinarily use the term. The earliest events of creation, for example, had no human eyewitnesses. Stories such as we find in the early chapters of Genesis are mostly myths and sagas. A literalistic approach to Genesis 1-11 would confuse history with myth and reality with symbol. Applying such terms as "myth" to Genesis in no way devalues or demeans the stories. They may not provide the earliest history exactly as it happened, but they do communicate Israel's deepest truths about the world in its relationship to God."

    which is a mainstream opinion in critical Biblical scholarship today. Claus Westermann's Gen 1-11 commentary is one of the best available, and he writes in his Introduction:

    "Accordingly, chs. 1-11 of Genesis must be regarded as a separate element of the Pentateuch, that is, as a relatively self-contained unity, and not primarily as a part of "Genesis". It is a relatively late component."

    &gt;Wells: which he would have to do to believe what evolutionists believe.

    BWS: Yes, although you don't have to be an evolutionist to recognize the nature of Gen 1-11. I have plenty of friends on other boards that don't believe in evolution, but do agree that Gen 1-11 is neither literal science or history.

    &gt;Wells: Of course if Genesis 1 thru 11 is myth, then Jesus and half the writers of the Bible are liars

    BWS: Here we go with the diatribe again...

    &gt;Wells: because they quote parts of that section as fact,

    BWS: Most notably Paul in passages like 1 Cor 11 with women and short hair. Still, that doesn't make the apostles "liars" any more than it makes you a liar to believe in the historicity of Gen 1-11. They could only be liars if they knew that 1-11 was not literal history and intentionally avoided saying it. But they had the same Torah we have without the benefit of all the information we have today from science and comparative mythology.

    &gt;Wells: and well, BW has a tangled mess of a cut and paste Bible to deal with.

    BWS: I've never cut anything out of the Bible before, nor have I suggested we do so. I wonder what your gospels look like with those "lying" non-literal parables of Christ cut out...
     
  16. BWSmith

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    Brian wrote:
    &gt; This might need to be else where....BW did you in fact call the first 11 chapters of the Bible myth?

    That is the correct TECHNICAL term for what Gen 1-11 is among literary scholars (a literary vehicle for truth that involves the supernatural, vs. the term "legend" which is a vehicle for truth involving human heroes), but in the context of Baptist faith and practice I always prefer to use more accurate terms like "symbolic" or "allegorical" or "parable" because of all the negative baggage that is associated with the word "myth" in its common, everyday usage, (synonymous with "falsehood", the opposite of the technical meaning).

    I believe the "Prodigal Son" and the "Sower and the Seed" for the truth they are intended to convey, and likewise, I believe Gen 1-11 for its truth, which is some of the deepest in the entire OT for understanding who God and man really are and what our relationship is to each other.

    Naturally, people like John Wells who are out to undercut people like me (he recently sent unflattering emails to my pastor "warning" him about me behind my back) could care less whether they are accurately representing my position. He carelessly throws around terms like "myth" with the hope that you will be 'shocked' into agreeing with him. I am more concerned that you understand my argument accurately than that you agree with it.

    Questions?
     
  17. rhoneycutt

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    BW
    You mean a moderator of this board did that? Does the webmaster approve of this behaviour?

    [ November 15, 2001: Message edited by: rhoneycutt ]
     
  18. Brian

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  19. Ernie Brazee

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    For those who love to bash fundamental Baptists, I have a question.

    How many preachers has your church trained? How many men has your church sent out to start churches. How many missionaries has your church trained and sent out?

    This is the great commision found in: Matthew 28:18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
    19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.


    It doesn't matter how many professions of salvation you have, it doesn't matter how big your church is, what matters is are you being obedient.

    God isn't impressed with numbers, he desires obedience. He desires worship. We say we love God then spend time worshipping the things of the world. God tells us to separate from the world&gt;

    Ernie
     
  20. BWSmith

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    Dr. Griffin did not approve of it, but many on the board DID agree with the action, much to my surprise.

    Ultimately, it was resolved that he should have involved me directly if he wanted to address the issue with my pastor.

    [ November 15, 2001: Message edited by: BWSmith ]
     

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