Back to 2022 Church Weekly List

Vol. XIX No. 20
13 February 2022

GOD’S WORD IN OUR HANDS

“For verily I say unto you, 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).

The Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF, 1646) affirms the verbal and plenary inspiration (VPI) of the Holy Scriptures in the original languages, and that the same Scriptures are, by God’s “singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages” (WCF I:8), verbally and plenarily preserved (VPP). The Westminster theologians used Matthew 5:18 as a proof text for this affirmation of the Scriptures’ perfect preservation. This proves that the doctrine of VPP is not just a confessional doctrine; it is more importantly a biblical doctrine.

The VPP of Scripture is a position of faith that is based solely on the Word of God. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). It is a position that every Christian must take if they are to weather and survive the onslaughts of postmodernism, pop-modernism, open-theism and neo-deism that seek to destroy the church today.

What does VPP mean? “Verbal” means every word to the jot and tittle (Psalm 12:6–7, Matthew 5:18). “Plenary” means the Scripture as a whole with all the words intact (Matthew 24:35, 1 Peter 1:25). So VPP means the whole of Scripture with all its words even to the jot and tittle is perfectly preserved by God without any loss of the original words, prophecies, promises, commandments, doctrines, and truths, not only in the words of salvation, but also the words of history, geography and science. Every book, every chapter, every verse, every word, every syllable, every letter is infallibly preserved by the Lord Himself to the last iota.

What and where are the preserved words of God today? They are the inspired Old Testament Hebrew/Aramaic words and New Testament Greek words the prophets, the apostles, the church fathers, the reformers used which are today found in the long and continuously abiding and preserved words underlying the Reformation Bibles best represented by the time-tested and time-honoured Authorised or King James Version, and NOT in the corrupt Alexandrian manuscripts (e.g. Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus) and critical Westcott-Hort Text (1881) underlying the liberal, ecumenical, and neo-evangelical modern versions of the Bible.

The VPP of the Holy Scriptures declares and defends the following tenets:

  1. God has supernaturally preserved each and every one of His inspired Hebrew/Aramaic Old Testament words and Greek New Testament words to the last jot and tittle, so that in every age, God’s people will always have in their possession His infallible and inerrant words kept intact without the loss of any of the words (Psalm 12:6–7, Matthew 5:18, 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33, John 10:35).
  2. The “providential” preservation of Scriptures is understood as God’s special and not general providence. Special providence or providentia extraordinaria speaks of God’s miraculous intervention in the events of history and in the affairs of mankind in fulfilment of His sovereign will for the sake of His elect and to the glory of His Name. The divine preservation of the Canon (books) and Text (words) of Scripture comes under God’s special providence.
  3. The Bible is not only infallible and inerrant in the past (in the Autographs), but also infallible and inerrant today (in the Apographs).
  4. The infallible and inerrant words of Scripture are found in the faithfully preserved Traditional/Byzantine/Majority manuscripts, and fully represented in the Printed and Received Text (or Textus Receptus) that underlie the Reformation Bibles best represented by the KJV, and NOT in the corrupt and rejected texts of Westcott and Hort that underlie the many modern versions of the English Bible like the NIV, NASV, ESV, RSV, TEV, CEV, TLB etc.
  5. There are no mistakes in the Bible, period. If there are “discrepancies” in the Bible, the “discrepancies” are only seeming or apparent, NOT real or actual. There are no mistakes or errors (scribal or otherwise) in such passages as Judges 18:30, 1 Samuel 13:1, 1 Kings 4:26, 1 Chronicles 18:3, 2 Chronicles 22:2, Mark 16:9–20, John 7:53–8:11, 1 Timothy 3:16, 1 John 5:7 etc in the Hebrew Masoretic Text and Greek Textus Receptus underlying the KJV. Any inability to understand or explain difficult passages in the Bible in no way negates its infallibility and inerrancy, applying the faithful Pauline principle of biblical interpretation: “let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).
  6. Knowing where the perfect Bible is is a matter of textual recognition and NOT textual criticism. In the field of textual recognition, Burgon is good, Hills is better, Waite is best. See John William Burgon, The Revision Revised: A Refutation of Westcott and Hort’s False Greek Text and Theory (Collingswood: Dean Burgon Society Press, 2nd printing, 2000); Edward F. Hills, The King James Version Defended (Des Moines: Christian Research Press, 1984); D. A. Waite, Defending the King James Bible, 2nd ed (Collingswood: Bible For Today Press, 1996).

Any faithful and accurate version of the Bible that is based on the Hebrew (1) Masoretic Text and Greek Textus Receptus and employs the formal or verbal (i.e. word for word) method of translation can be held up as the “Word of God”. Nevertheless, versions or translations are never superior to the inspired and preserved Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek Scriptures; thus there is a need to consult these original language Scriptures for clarity and fulness of meaning, and to compare Scripture with Scripture.

Our perfect Lord and His perfect words are the very foundations of our Christian Faith, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3). It is only when we as Christians possess a 100% perfect, infallible and inerrant Bible can we declare the Bible to be our only and final authority, and foundation of faith. If there is no such an infallible and inerrant Bible today, then the so-called “textual critic” or “textual scholar” becomes the supreme authority, and we have to kowtow to his subjective and speculative judgements on and corrections of the Bible. Some may want to trust the words of men, but we trust only the words of our Lord who “died for our sins according to the scriptures … was buried … [and] rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3–4).

The Bible itself which is our supreme and final authority of faith and practice clearly teaches its plenary inspiration, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God,” and its verbal preservation, “For verily I say unto you, 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), “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33). The doctrine of the 100% inspiration (VPI) and 100% preservation (VPP) of each and every word of the Bible is as old as the Bible itself. “For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth” (2 Corinthians 13:8). “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:17). Soli Deo Gloria! JK

A STANDARD SACRED TEXT

Let me recommend a new book (2021) defending a presently infallible and inerrant Bible based on the doctrine of knowledge (or knowability) as taught in the Holy Scriptures. The book is titled A Philosophical Grounding for a Standard Sacred Text: Leveraging Reformed Epistemology in the Quest for a Standard English Version of the Bible (213pp). The author is Peter Van Kleeck Jr who holds a PhD from Liberty University.

In his book, Dr Van Kleeck argues that Christians can reasonably believe that they have in their hands an infallible and inerrant Bible because (1) Scripture is the very foundation of the Christian’s belief in all the wonderful truths of the Gospel. As such (2) Scripture must be the first place every Christian should go to for what and how he should think about the truths of God. Furthermore, (3) the Holy Spirit who is the Author of the Scriptures must testify to the truths of the Scriptures to the Christian, and (4) the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures would lead and guide the Christian into all truth, giving him the faith to believe in the truth—to have a biblical worldview.

Based on the above premise, the author posits that every Christian “may come to believe, even know, that the Scripture read in her [sic] ears is indeed the word of God and not of men. As such she is compelled to read the Bible she should read. Even further, she remains within her epistemic rights to do so. She is able to know this by virtue of the voice of God in the person of the Holy Spirit speaking to her through the reading of the word coupled with her divinely ordained capacity to exercise faith. She is able to acquire such knowledge though she be ‘quite innocent of historical studies, the ancient languages, and the intricacies of textual criticism, [and] the depth of theology.’ God speaks in her through His word, and she hears His voice as one of His sheep, as one of His children. As a result, in the context of the English speaking west, I conclude that a Christian can be rational and warranted to believe her Bible is the word of God down to the very words and to the exclusion of all others.”

As believers of the verbal and plenary preservation (VPP) of the Holy Scriptures and the infallibility and inerrancy of the traditional Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus underlying the KJV, we see that we are not alone in upholding the absolute purity and authority of the Word of God we have today and to know for sure where that Word precisely is. JK

1 Goldhill Plaza, #03-35, S(308899)
admin@truelifebpc.org.sg
6254 1287

© 2022 True Life Bible-Presbyterian Church