There is a battle to be fought today. It is a battle for the Bible. The battle in the last century concerned the doctrine of Biblical inspiration. In this new century, the battle concerns the doctrine of Biblical preservation.
Biblical inspiration is meaningless without Biblical preservation. What good is the Bible if it was only perfect in the past, but is no more perfect today? But we who believe the Bible are sure that the God who has given to us His inspired Word has also preserved it. The Westminster Confession affirms the twin doctrines of Verbal Plenary Inspiration (VPI) and Verbal Plenary Preservation (VPP): “The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it, was most generally known to the nations), being immediatelyinspired by God, and, by his singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical.” In these darkening days of apostasy, there is a vital need to return to the divinely inspired and preserved Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words on which the Authorised Version or King James Bible is based.
The first edition of my book Kept Pure in All Ages: Recapturing the Authorised Version and the Doctrine of Providential Preservation was published by the Far Eastern Bible College (FEBC) Press in 2001. It was based on the lecture notes for a course I taught at FEBC titled “KJV-NIV Debate” back in 1998. The book has been out of print for some time. This second edition (2021) is now published and printed in the USA by The Old Paths Publications (Cleveland, Georgia) and just released.
I want to thank Dr H D Williams, President of The Old Paths Publications Inc, for his timely expertise and for getting the book out on time. I also want to thank Dn Eric Lim of Calvary Pandan Bible-Presbyterian Church (BPC) for designing a new cover for the book, and for Samuel Goh of True Life BPC for typesetting the contents.
This second edition was in response to the Rev Christian McShaffrey (Pastor of Five Solas Church) who requested for my book to be made available for an upcoming “Kept Pure in All Ages” Bible conference to be held in Reedsburg, Wisconsin on March 26 and 27, 2021. Dr Jeffrey Riddle who is the main speaker will be propounding the classical Protestant view of the text of Scripture (www.keptpure.com). This is very encouraging.
I am thankful that an increasing number of Christians are returning to the good old doctrine of Biblical Preservation as spelt out in our Reformed and Protestant Confessions. The classical Protestant view of Scripture which is the biblical view needs to be revisited, for it has been sorely neglected and many are sadly ignorant of it.
By the grace of God, FEBC, True Life BPC and other faithful BPCs (Berean, Berith, Blessed Hope, Calvary Pandan, Calvary Tengah, Gethsemane, Tabernacle, Truth) fought a long, hard battle for the Bible a decade or two ago which made headlines in Singapore. The truth triumphed, “For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.” (2 Cor 13:8).
It goes without saying that the 100% inspiration of the Bible requires its 100% preservation. Do we have the same Bible that God gave to Moses, the Prophets, and the Apostles of Jesus Christ? Do we have an infallible and inerrant Bible we can hold up and say, “Thus saith the Lord”, “It is written”, Sola Scriptura? If yes, then where is it, which is it? The logic of faith is key to knowing. I believe Dr Jeffrey Riddle and the Rev Christian McShaffrey are able to help Christians today think biblically and faithfully concerning these things in their upcoming conference.
If you wish to have a copy of Kept Pure in All Ages, you may download a free pdf copy from www.febc.edu.sg (click “Publications” on the left menu column). Hardcopies can be purchased from Amazon.com. JK
THE BIBLE THEN AND NOW
How the Holy Bible Came to Be: An Elementary Introduction to the Doctrine of Believing Bibliology by the Rev Christian McShaffrey is a new booklet published and distributed by the Trinitarian Bible Society (TBS), London, UK.
Here is an excerpt of this timely treatise:
With so many attacks being made against the Bible, the church’s responsibility to protect itprobably seemed overwhelming at times. To the great comfort of God’s church, Scripture itself claims a quality called infallibility.
Do you see the word ‘fall’ at the root of that word? That is what Scripture cannot do. It is incapable of falling or failing.
The Psalmist affirmed this attribute of Scripture while singing, ‘For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven’ (Psalm 119.89).
Jesus would have read this verse many times and believed it with all His heart. He also taught His disciples that it was not possible for even the smallest stroke of an inspired penman to fall (Matthew 5.18).
Ultimately speaking, then, the preservation of Scripture depended not so much upon the church, but upon the very nature of Scripture itself. This emboldened the church to serve as steward of the Word with every confidence of success.
Jots & Tittles
The Lord Jesus promised, ‘Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled’ (Matthew 5.18).
In saying that, Jesus clearly affirmed that earth would be ‘burned up’ someday (p. 25); but more to the point for our present study is this observation: Jesus applied infallibility to even the smallest stroke of the stylus in the inspired Scripture.
A jot is the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet. It looks exactly like an English apostrophe. It is the Hebrew letter ‘yod’. A tittle is even smaller than that. It looks like the small pen stroke that distinguishes the English letter O from Q.
If this is the extent to which the attribute of infallibility truly reaches, then how can words, verses, and even entire passages keep falling in-and-out of Scripture?
Obviously, the doctrine of infallibility denies the possibility that Scripture could be so unsettled and uncertain, but the critics have come up with a clever way of affirming infallibility without actually applying it to the Bible we possess today.
What do you believe about the Holy Bible?
Do you believe it was inspired by God? Do you believe that it is therefore infallible? Do you also believe that God preserved His Word so that we can actually hold it in our hands today?
As we have seen, many say, ‘No. The originals have been permanently lost and all we can do is keep trying to get a little closer to what the apostles initially wrote.’
Others like myself, and hopefully like you, have come to believe something far more Biblical. Namely, that the Mighty God who revealed His Word through the miracle of inspiration also kept it pure in all ages through His singular care and providence.
This He did, despite the wrath of men and devils, through the agency of His church which served most faithfully as steward of the Word so that all men may read it today in its entirety and in their own language.
More attacks will undoubtedly arise against God’s Word, but the Lord Jesus Christ offers every believer the same level of certainty he enjoyed: ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away’ (Matthew 24.35).
I would encourage you to read the whole article for the details. It can be downloaded freely from TBS (www.tbsbibles.org). JK
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