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   In Defense of Traditional Bible Texts

"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
. . . Psalm 12:6-7 . . .

God The Word - Defends The Word of God

The Dean Burgon Society's 1996 Annual Meeting
Dr. Robert Barnett, Vice President of the Dean Burgon Society
Copyright 1999 by the author, reproduction and distribution rights assigned to the Dean Burgon Society.

Jesus Christ - The WORD of GOD
Our Final Authority Regarding Holy Scripture
Only the Received Text Can Claim Inerrancy
Infallible Authority and Inerrant Accuracy
God's Word is for Us to Live By


Thank You for an opportunity to have a part in the DBS annual Bible Conference this year in Boston. Special thanks to Grace Baptist Church and to your pastor Dr. Kirk DiVietro.

The heart of the Bible version question:

Who will we trust in questions of textual criticism, textual translation, and textual interpretation? WHICH BIBLE EXPERT IS WORTHY OF OUR FAITH AND TRUST?

In this day when the Bible is under attack as never before, who do we trust to treat the Bible in an honest manner? Some trust their denomination, others their schools or professors, others trust their pastors, some trust the bookstore clerk. Some trust a friend. All of us must trust someone concerning which Bible we will rest our immortal souls upon for all time and eternity.

Once during correspondence with the president of a so-called fundamental Baptist college and seminary, he seemed amazed that I would claim to have enough education to delve into such Bible questions as textual criticism. He reminded me that as president of two previous Baptist schools, he had two highly educated professors who had part in the translation of the NKJV and another modern translation, either the NIV or NASV. But neither believed they had the expertise to deal with questions of textual criticism. Later in his letter he told me about a reputable pastor in Ohio who had switched he entire church over to the NIV.

1. These 2 professors admitted to blindly following the revised text of other men for their translation work. They were blindly trusting other textual experts just as millions of lay people are now blindly trusting them and their translation work.  

2. I asked the college president if the reputable pastor in Ohio was more of an expert on textual criticism then his two professors who blindly did the translation work?  

3. The words of Jesus Christ in come to mind: "And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?"  

4. Today the blind are leading the blind in textual criticism and translation work thereby causing denominations, universities, churches, families, and individuals to fall into the ditch of disbelief.which leads to dispair.  

5. All of us must trust somebody concerning textual criticism and translation work. I have found but one expert who is worthy to be trusted. He has never failed in anything I have trusted Him to do. 

Jesus Christ - The WORD of GOD

There is one Bible expert and authority who stands above all others, our Lord Jesus Christ. He is not only the eternal author of all scripture, but is also called the Word of God . He is identified as the Word of God personified from three perspectives:  

1. Our Lord is coming back to earth as King, and as such is named as the sovereign ruling Word of God:

( KJV) And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

( KJV) And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

( KJV) And he hath on [his] vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

He has the omnipotent power to deal with all textual critics including the first one Satan!  

2. Our Jesus is Savior, the incarnate Word made flesh for our redemption:  

( KJV) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

He has the omniscient wisdom to deal with all textual critics!  

3. Our Christ is God, the eternal Word, coequal with the Father and the Holy Spirit:  

() In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.

He has the eternal presence to deal with all textual critics! He not only was the eternal word in the past, He bears witness as the eternal word in Heaven today. () "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." Every modern Bible either removes this verse, removes the doctrine of the trinity from it, or calls it into question by a footnote or marginal reference.

Our Final Authority Regarding Holy Scripture

As the eternal, incarnate, sovereign Word personified, our Lord Jesus Christ commands respect as our final authority regarding all His Words of Holy Scripture.  

A. Jesus Christ practiced the infallible authority of Holy Scripture in His works or ministry v. 17

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.  

(The Word "fulfill' and "fulfilled" are used of Christ's words over 40 times in the gospels.  

Jesus Christ believed, obeyed, and fulfilled every word of Holy Scripture in His work.

"Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." () "And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him." ( ) Jesus Christ did nothing contrary to God's Holy Scripture. "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." () "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." ()  

Jesus Christ not only fulfilled every word of God in His life, but He accepted and taught us to believe the literal interpretation of Bible accounts:.  

For example:

1. Christ believed the Genesis account of Creation: He believed in---

( KJV) For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.  

2. Christ believed Adam and Eve were real people created and instructed by God:

( KJV) And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

( KJV) And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

( KJV) Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.  

3. Christ believed the murder of righteous Abel:

( KJV) That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.  

4. Christ believed in Noah, the ark, and the universal flood:

( KJV) For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.  

5. Christ believed in Lot's deliverance and Sodom's destruction:

( KJV) But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.  

Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;

But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed [them] all.

Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

San Francisco is rapidly becoming a match for Sodom.  

6. Christ believed the account of Lot's wife turning to a pillar of salt:

( KJV) Remember Lot's wife.  

7. Christ believed God's revelation to Moses in the burning bush..

( KJV) And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?  

8. Christ tied the truth of His own death, burial, and resurrection to Jonah and the whale:

( KJV) For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

( KJV) Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.  

9. Christ claimed to be the fulfillment of the law, psalms, and prophets.

( KJV) And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.  

10. Christ allowed no distinction in authority between the written words of Moses and His own words as God incarnate.

( KJV) For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.

( KJV) But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

( KJV) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

( KJV) And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.  

11. Christ claimed the words of Holy Scripture are living words: (Living because Inspired)

( KJV) It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

( KJV) Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

( KJV) And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

( KJV) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

As Peter said, Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.  

12. Christ's words which were revealed from God were to believers received words :  

( KJV) I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

( KJV) For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

( KJV) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

( KJV) Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; (Christ's prayer was based upon God's words as passed on by His disciples through the received text.)

Only the Received Text Can Claim Inerrancy

Only the received text of Holy Scriptures passed down through centuries in the hands of Bible believers can fulfill the claim of inerrancy in doctrine. All modern Bibles by their own footnotes and side references question or deny any and all claims to inerrancy in the transmission of their underlying original language texts.  

A. Jesus Christ Practiced the infallible authority of Holy Scripture in His works v. 17

B. Jesus Christ Proclaimed the inerrant accuracy of Holy Scriptures in His words v. 18  

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.

"....and the scripture cannot be broken;  

"And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." ()  

1. Jesus Christ, the second Adam, pronounced word level preservation of scripture to silence Satan's personal attack:

( KJV) But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

( KJV) And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

(Remember 3/4th of the Holy Scriptures were already written and the originals of the Old Testament were probably all gone by the time Christ made the above defense.)

Contrast Satan's first words in : "Yea, Hath God said?"  

2. Christ promised the scriptures would be providentially preserved beyond the word of God in creation:

By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.

For he spake, and it was [done]; he commanded, and it stood fast.

() "Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. {91} They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants."  

( KJV) And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.

The jot and tittle were the smallest markings in the Hebrew words, it would be comparable to us talking about dotting the "i" and crossing the "t" in English  

( KJV) Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

( KJV) Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

( KJV) Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

Jesus Christ promised that His word in print will remain more stable than His word in creation.  

3. He empowered His disciples to teach all things which His words commanded to all His future disciples.

( KJV) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

( KJV) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

( KJV) Teaching 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.

The power, purpose, and presence of Jesus Christ assure us of the providential preservation of His Words in Holy Scripture until the end of the world.  

4. Holy Scriptures are the incorruptible seed of the sower producing all spiritual life and growth in Christ's parable of the sower in Matthew 13:

( KJV) The sower soweth the word.

( KJV) Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

As Peter said, () Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.  

5. Scriptures provide the only sure foundation upon which to build a life:

( KJV) Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like:

( KJV) He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

( KJV) But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.  

6. The Holy Scripture obeyed is sufficient for Jesus Christ to identify us as His family:

( KJV) And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

( KJV) But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. (More blessed than honoring his mother Mary spoken of in the context.)  

Infallible Authority and Inerrant Accuracy

A. Jesus Christ Practiced the infallible authority of Holy Scripture in His works or ministry v. 17

B. Jesus Christ Proclaimed the inerrant accuracy of Holy Scriptures in His words v. 18

C. Jesus Christ Promised us infinite accountability to Holy Scriptures in His warning v. 19,20  

1. Our heavenly reputation rests upon our handling of God's words. v. 19  

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  

a. Christ warns those who break His commandments and teach others to do so.

Jesus Christ clearly marks all who refuse to believe and practice Holy scripture:  

  1) Willful ignorance of God's scripture and power is the cause of spiritual error:

( KJV) Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

( KJV) And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?  

  2) Hating and Rejecting God's word is synonymous with hating and rejecting God:

( KJV) And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

( KJV) I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

( KJV) He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.  

  3) The world hates the disciples of Christ because of their stand on God's word:

( KJV) I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

( KJV) But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.  

  4) Remaining ashamed of Jesus Christ and His words is unforgivable:

( KJV) Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

( KJV) For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.  

  5) All who reject Jesus Christ and His words will be divinely judged by His words:

( KJV) And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

( KJV) He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.  

  6) Adding to or subtracting from God's words is the final deadly sin condemned by Jesus Christ:

'For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus." (()

( KJV) And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?  

b. Jesus Christ characterizes those who really believe on Him and continue to live by His Holy Scriptures:  

  1) They are confirmed as His disciples:

( KJV) Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;  

  2) They are freed by His truth:

( KJV) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.      

  3) They hear, know, and follow His voice:

( KJV) To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

( KJV) And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

( KJV) Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.  

  4) They possess eternal life and security:

( KJV) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

( KJV) And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

( KJV) My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.  

  5) They prove their love for Jesus Christ by keeping His words:

( KJV) Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.  

  6) They are taught all things by the Spirit of Truth:

( KJV) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

( KJV) But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

( KJV) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.

"...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:"  

  7) They are made clean through the word:

( KJV) Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.  

  8) Their prayers are answered:

( KJV) If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.  

  9) Their life has fulfilled one primary purpose for the Holy Scriptures:

( KJV) And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

( KJV) But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.  

  10) Their Churches are blessed for faithfulness to His word:

( KJV) I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

( KJV) Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

God's Word is for Us to Live By

1. Our heavenly Reputation rests upon our handling of God's words. v. 19

2. Our heavenly Righteousness must be in Jesus Christ and His word alone. v. 20  

For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed [the righteousness] of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.  

a. Our Lord Jesus Christ took our sin and gave us His righteousness:

For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:  

b. Christ identified the False righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees:

Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:

All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, [that] observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay [them] on men's shoulders; but they [themselves] will not move them with one of their fingers.

But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier [matters] of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

[Ye] blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

[Thou] blind Pharisee, cleanse first that [which is] within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men's] bones, and of all uncleanness.

Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.  

c. The apostle Paul explained the two kinds of righteousness:  

For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, [it is] evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree:

The Dean Burgon Society

Please click here for the Most Important Message of the Bible Concerning You. "
Is any of the following a blessing to you today?
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
Matthew 24:3

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Acts 4:12

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."

1 Corinthians 2:9

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