The Purpose of Inspired originals?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Dr. Walter, May 12, 2010.

  1. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
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    What do you suppose was God's purpose in providing inspired originals. We don't have them any more. Therefore, what continuing purpose do they serve?

    I have thought about this through the years and the only answer I can come up with is that they served to provide a self defining contextual pattern.

    Many of you have seen an afgan with a complex but clear pattern. The afgan may become worn and torn but by carefully examining the contextual pattern around the tears and holes it can be determined what was in that hole.

    We tell our people constantly to interpret scripture by scripture. Isn't that another way of saying the Bible is self-defining book?

    Certainly God realized that there would be copyist and translator errors but I believe that through divine providence God made sure that such errors never destroyed the self-defining contextual pattern.

    For example, in translation from one language to another language some subtle points are lost and language is in continual flux as terms change in meaning from one generation to another. However, at the point when the translation is being made it is being transferred into the meaning of words fixed in that time frame and therefore the contextual pattern is transferred over into another language where the study of that language at the time of translation sheds light on the words. That is why we look up archaic English words to understand the KJV. That is why we all have Greek lexicons to study the use of words at the time they were written.

    The abundance of source materials in both family lines provide additional aide in filling in the copyist and translation holes. However, the self-defining contextual pattern provided by the originals continues to be the basis for determining what reading best fits in questionable areas.

    For example, the ecclesiastical terms "baptism" and "church" we know are not truly representative of the Greek terms they are used to translate. The former is a transliteration and only conveys equivilent sounds rather than equivilent meaning. The latter is derived from a completely different Greek word (kuriakos). However, the the self-defining contextual pattern of scripture defines "baptism" to be immersion as that is the only mode that identifies with being "buried" (Rom. 6:5; Col. 2:12). The term "church" is placed in so many contexts that establish it as something visible, local and institutional.

    I for one limit my manuscript references to the Byzantine line because my research has led me to believe that is the best preserved for several reasons. I stick with "a" King James Version because it is one of the few English translations that is based upon that textual line of transmission.

    I recognize the superior scholarship of the KJV translators to my own and so I simply use the alternative readings in that line along with a thorough study of the context to determine what the clearest meaning of any text may be.

    However, if I did not know any language but English, I am fully confident that by studying my KJV contextually and letting scripture intepret scripture that I would arrive at the same doctrines and practices.

    The same could be said about any other translation. However, the process becomes easier when you have more available valid data to work with. There are those who have demonstrated by studying the New World Translation of the scripture contextually with aide by the Holy Spirit you would still come to the truth of Christ's absolute divinity even though the translators have intentionally tried to pervert it in their translation.
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    You make a fatal leap from logic to error when you say we do not have the "originals" any longer. I assume you meant actual papyrus/ink penned by John or Paul and you are correct.

    But we DO have EVERY ORIGINAL WORD inspired/breathed by God. Not a single word has been lost.
     
  3. Dr. Walter

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    I don't deny that because of the abundance of manuscript materials. However, the process to determine which words among the variants are the right words must depend ultimately upon the contextual pattern of scripture. However, even if we did not have any source materials available and/or could not read any langauage but the langauge of the translation we possess we would still be able arrive at the same essential truths by simply comparing scripture with scripture and let the Bible self-interpret. Of course that would require the ability to read and understand the language.

    The value of inerrant originals is that they provide this contextual pattern for self-definition. Denial of this is to presume that the Bible cannot be properly interpreted except by Greek and Hebrew scholars who are versed in textual criticism.
     
    #3 Dr. Walter, May 12, 2010
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  4. Dr. Bob

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    Yes, but thank God for great men (and women, like Mrs Aland) who are scholars and can help us not fall into the trap of "thinking" we know what a verse says/means by seeing it only in the context of 1600 or 1800 or 2000.
     
  5. Trotter

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    Nice lead in for your reasoning for holding to the Byzantine line and the KJV. Neither has anything whatsoever to do with the question about the originals, however.

    The purpose of the inspired originals was to give man God's word, period. No Byzantine or Alexandrian nonsense, no Nehushtan of translations, no confusion at all. God moved the biblical authors to write His inspired words and to pass them on to the rest of humanity.

    While we no longer have the actual physical originals of the inspired writings (thankfully), we do, as Dr.Bob stated, have all of them as passed down to us. I say thankfully as mankind would worship the writings themselves instead of the Author of those writings if they were still among us.

    There is no hard evidence that the Byzantine line is completely correct, or that the Alexandrian line is completely correct, or that either is wrong. The variations between them are minimal at best, and most of that looks to be additions made by pious copyists. As Dr.Bob said, we thank God for gifted scholars (who are/were not part of the baby-baptizing English split off of the Catholic church) who have devoted themselves to deciphering that which is the actual words of God and what was added in as time went by.
     
  6. Dr. Walter

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    You are probably right that it is good that we don't have the originals as they would be another holy relic producing more idolatry.

    I understand the history of both lines of manuscripts and I understand where you are coming from. Arguing over this is a waste of time. I have my own personal reasons for why I believe the Byzantine family line is better. Part of those reasons are doctrinal, historical, practical and ecclesiastical. So my reasons are not all in one basket.

    I don't believe the Christian world needed Mrs. Aland before or after to understand the Word of God or come to any truth in God's Word. I don't believe God needs any Greek or Hebrew scholar to teach His people the Word of God or bring any truth found in God's Word to light. Having said that, I do believe that the more tools and more scholarship any Christian has available to them will enhance and expediate their study of God's Word.

    Just comparing scripture with scripture humbly and prayerfully before God and comparing notes between fellow believers and their called leadership who do the same thing is totally sufficient to arrive at any essential truth in God's word in the common venacular.

    I will leave you with this thought. The more education you have may be more of a hinderance to truth than a blessing. Almost 80% of Greek scholars do not profess the evangelical gospel. On the other hand, God does not call "many" that are "mighty" as Paul said but those few He does call God can and does use to be a great blessing to His people.

     
  7. Baptist4life

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    Amen! Preach it! (as some would say!):thumbs:
     
  8. Trotter

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    So which is it... educated or ignorant?

    Comparing scripture, yes... especially when comparing various translations (if unable to use the original languages) will help one better understand what is being said. Using ones contemporaries or leadership instead of scripture is not a wise thing to do as error can compound error. If said leadership is knowledgeable (actually knowledgeable in theology and not just the loudest pulpit thumper as there is a huge difference) then they may be a good source, but many in leadership are there because no one else would do it and not because they know God's word.

    Christianity is not a religion of ignorance. Believers are encouraged to read and study the bible, to seek knowledge and understanding of what God has said to us. This requires that we Christians remain in His word and that we utilize whatever means we have available to better plumb its depths. There are multitudes of volumes readily available that deal with word studies, the original languages, commentaries (one must be selective and cautious with these), and so on that can be utilized by the Christian student.

    Please do not think that I am trying to attack you or your statements as that is not my aim. Rather I am trying to have you firm up your statements as they are rather vague and conflicting. I have a peeve about that as I am working on eradicating the very same thing from my own usage, as well as it is a tactic used by some here to deliver derogatory remarks (a backhand slap, as I call it).
     
  9. Dr. Walter

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    If you will reread what I said it will become apparent that it is not an either or conclusion. The non-scholar can be taught the word of God and come to every essential truth that the scholar can by simply applying himself to the venacular translation in his possession by comparing scripture with scripture allowing the immediate and overall context under the leadership of the holy Spirit to be his definitive guide. The less education the more time and expenditure of energy but the same results in "the faith." The more educated the less expenditure of time and energy required under the leadership of the Holy Spirit even if NO OTHER TRANSLATION or COPIES or available to either. God does not need advanced education or multiple sources to teach the same truths but God certainly can bless it as well.

    The apostles were but fisherman and when brought before the sanhedren they were recognized as unlettered, uneducated men but they also noted they had been with Jesus. Now friend, you can be uneducated with the ability to only read your venacular translation and still come to all the truths of God's Word if you spend your time "with Jesus."

    I have independent Baptist Bible College and a Southern Baptist Seminary training. I have set under six different doctors for Greek, Hebrew and Latin (Dr. Ed Overbey, Dr. Rosco Brong, Dr. Richard Melick, Dr. Richard Hendersen, Dr. Roy O. Beaman). I have taken advanced Greek, textual criticism and yet I have ministered to people who have none of the above and yet the Holy Spirit has been able to teach them the same truths that I have come to by simply applying themselves to five books (Bible atlas, Bible dictionary, KJV, Concordance, Websters dictionary). Of course they don't know all the technicalities or nuances of language or exposed to the Greek and Hebrew copies but they all have come to the same truths.

    I have never discouraged anyone from learning all they can learn, but, I have never told a single believer who could read and write his own venacular that he could not apply himself to the translation he possesses by comparing scripture with scripture within the framework of immediate and overall context with the Holy Spirit as his guide and not come to all the essential truths of God's Word.

    I do no know of a single "Thd" who understands all the scriptures but I do know many uneducated children of God who undertand more truth than the vast majority of "Thd's."

     
  10. TomVols

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    This always seems like double-speak to me.
    And this proves it. You just negated what you said. You taught/ministered to people who had no Greek or Hebrew. So you were able to proclaim to them the mysteries of God in Christ. Without a preacher, how can they hear?
    Non-sequitur. This is just sheer sophistry.

    I believe we should be dilligent to show ourselves as workmen who do not need to be ashamed, righly handling the Word. I just don't see any excuse otherwise. In fact, God's judgement will and does rest on those who do not/will not.
     
  11. Dr. Walter

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    I never said those who had no Greek or Hebrew education were led by me into the truths they held. I simply said that I have ministered to such people who knew the truth (before I came along).

    I don't know why you brethren want to make something easy hard. I suppose you simply want to debate to debate.

    All I have said and all I mean to say is that God does not need anyone more educated than unschooled fisherman to understand and teach the truth to other children of God. I did not say that preachers were unnecessary as the Word of God says they are (Rom. 10:14-16).

    I guess you educated folks think God is dependent upon you to teach His people. I guess you think without a treasury of translations and a qualified Greek and Hebrew scholar God can't teach His children the truth by just prayerfully studying the translation they possess allowing the Bible to self interpret through contextual application of every book, chapter, verse and word????

    I guess you demand that God can't do without you! I have had some uneducated children of God teach me a thing or two that all my education and former professors did not convey. Hmmm! I wonder how they got that truth without me or you?????

    I never denied that we should not work hard at rightly dividing the Word of truth but if you think you must have a working knowledge of Greek and Hebrew to rightly divide the word of truth then no one but Greek and Hebrew scholars know the truth or those taught by such scholars. My friends, your point is absurdly false. Thank God for Greek and Hebrew scholars and try to get all the education possible but if you think God can't convey His word to His people without Greek and Hebrew trained scholars then believe that all you want but it is certainly not the truth.
     
    #11 Dr. Walter, May 13, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2010
  12. Mexdeaf

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    And almost 95% of all statistics are made up on the spot. The other 5% are based on misleading interpretations of the data.

    :laugh:
     
  13. Dr. Walter

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    How about the latest World Almanac? Out of the 2.1 billion professing Christians on planet earth nearly 60% belong to the Roman Catholic Church, Another 15-20% belong to sacramental protestant non-protestant denominations. Guess where approximately 80% of Greek and Hebrew scholars trained in textual criticism identify with???? Not with groups holding to a non-sacramental evangelical gospel. Check it out
     
  14. Dr. Walter

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    But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

    I fully realize this text does not deny the need of Spiritually called and gifted preachers to bring the gospel to people. Nor does it discount the divine use of human instrumentality in teaching children of God.

    However, it does teach that no one but the Holy Spirit in the final anylsis is capable of pentrating the human mind and heart with the truth. He is the Teacher. He is not dependent upon Greek and Hebrew scholars trained in textual criticism to teach the truth to His children. He does not need more than one translation of the Scriptures to teach a person or to teach ANY truth of the Scriptures. There is no Greek and Hebrew Scholar trained in textual criticism that even come close to knowing ALL truth in the Scriptures or even ALL truth in any particular verse of scripture.

    It reminds me of the song that Ms Doolittle sang to Professor Higgins in the musical My Fair Lady.

    There'll be spring every year without you. England still will be here without you.
    There'll be fruit on the tree.
    And a shore by the sea.
    There'll be crumpets and tea without you.

    Art and music will thrive without you. Somehow Keats will survive without you.
    And there still will be rain on that plain down in Spain,
    even that will remain without you.
    I can do without you.

    You, dear friend, who taught so well,
    You can go to Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire.

    They can still rule with land without you.
    Windsor Castle will stand without you.
    And without much ado we can all muddle through without you.


    And God can get along quite fine teaching His people the truth of God's Word without Greek and Hebrew scholars trained in textual criticism.
     
    #14 Dr. Walter, May 13, 2010
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  15. Mexdeaf

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    Like I said, "The other 5% are based on misleading interpretations of the data." :rolleyes:
     
  16. Dr. Walter

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    I see! So you can make unsubstantiated denials and we are take that as part of that 5% fact?? Oh, now I see!
     
  17. TomVols

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    Circular reasoning and double-speak.

    No one would deny these folks existed or exist. My dear father, now in glory, read His Bible from cover to cover many times over every year with a fourth grade education. Would he have been aided more by a knowledge of original languages? No question, as you posit. But that didn't keep him from truth.

    Bizarre.
    You have been the one bragging about who you studied under, Doctor :laugh:
    God doesn't need you or me. But he uses you and me. How shall they hear without a preacher?
    I guess you enjoy strawmen, because I haven't seen anyone postulate this.

    Anyway, we're hopelessly off topic.
     
  18. Mexdeaf

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    I 100% agree with you on that. :laugh:
     
  19. gb93433

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    Paul was very educated. I see noplace in scripture where God used his ignroance to reach people. In fact in his ignorance he persecuted the Christians. A man who is knowledgable and under God's control is a powerful statement of humility.
     
  20. HankD

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    It's a cooperative effort. God gave the word by inspiration and his authorized messengers preserved and proclaimed it.

    As Spurgeon said (at least it has been attributed to him) You don't need to defend the Biblle, it's like a lion, just let it loose.

    I agree though we certainly need more "mighty" men.

    Men who are not ruined by their education but submitted and their learning used by God as His Gospel instruments.

    Acts 26
    24 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.
    25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.​

    HankD​
     

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