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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 . . .

Theological Significance in the Text Variance in Acts 9:31

Jebidiah Porter, M.A.

Student at Heritage Baptist University

In Acts 9:31 there is a textual variance between the TR and WH text. In the TR ekklhsiai occurs but in the WH it is ekklhsia. In the King James the verse reads, "Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria..." This verse has the potential of definitely affecting the doctrine of ecclesiology. The local versus universal question is an aspect of church doctrine that is much debated. If the TR reading is the one accepted then the verse does not decide the question because it is generally accepted that the church does exist in local assemblies. However, if the WH reading is accepted then there is a definite change required in how some view the doctrine of the church.

There is the position that the church is to be organized only in local assemblies. The WH reading makes this position untenable. The WH reading would not necessarily exclude the idea of local assemblies but it definitely allows for the application of the singular ekklhsia to a group of churches. The reading could even lend itself to the idea of a diocese. One could then legitimately refer to the American church, the French church, the English church, etc. Therefore, those arguing for a local church only organization could not do so in the light of the WH reading. They would have to acknowledge that sometimes it is acceptable to refer to the churches within a given region as a singular church. Charles Ryrie in his Basic Theology takes such a position. On page 395 in the section dealing with the concept of the church, he writes, "Yet the singular church is used to designate several churches in a region (Acts 9:31)." Based on this verse, he goes on to outline his

concept of the church as being the universal church-all believers, the visible church-local churches within a given area, and the local church-a particular assembly. Regardless of which position is correct concerning the local versus universal question, the WH reading in Acts 9:31 would have to be acknowledged as affecting theology. It is not the purpose of this article to argue for one position or another regarding the local versus universal question but only to point out that in this instance the textual variance can affect theology.

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1. Inspiration and Interpretation by Dean John Burgon. There is an excellent summary of this book by Pastor D. A. Waite, Th.D., Ph. D. at www.deanburgon society.org/ dbs2925d.htm. This is a "must have" book for anyone interested in the preservation of the Scriptures. Dean Burgon remarks on "Essays and Reviews" concerning inspiration and interpretation of Scripture. The book includes sermons on "The Study Of The Bible Recommended; And A Method Of Studying It Described, "Natural Science and Theological Science," "Inspiration of Scripture.--Gospel Difficulties.--The Word Of God Infallible--Other Sciences Subordinate To Theological Science," "The Plenary Inspiration of Every Part of the Bible, Vindicated and Explained--Nature Of Inspiration--The Text Of Scripture," and much more. Order DBS #1220 now for a gift of $25 + $5.00 shipping and handling. A hardback book, over 300 pages.

2. A Guide to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament. This book is by Rev. Edward Miller who was a close friend and fellow worker with Dean John W. Burgon. In this volume, Miller condenses and sums up Dean Burgon's methodology for textual criticism. In it he refutes the false system used by Bishop Westcott and Professor Hort. This DBS #743 is for a gift of $11.00 + $5.00 shipping and handling. It is a hardback book of 168 pages.

3. The Last Twelve Verses of Mark by Dean John William Burgon. Dean Burgon vindicates and establishes Mark 16:9-20 as genuine. In his day the only manuscripts (with few exceptions) that omitted these verses were the false Vatican & Sinai manuscripts. Order DBS #1139 for a gift of $15.00 +$5.00 S&H. A hardback book, over 300 pages.

4. Revision Revised by Dean John William Burgon. In this volume, Burgon does the following four things: (1) He attacks the false Greek text of Westcott and Hort; (2) He demolishes the theory behind that text; (3) He refutes the English Revised Version of 1881; and (4) He defends the King James Bible! Order DBS #611 for a gift of $25.00 + $5.00 S&H, Hardback book over 500 pages

5. Traditional Text Of The Holy Gospels by Dean John William Burgon. A careful survey of the historical supremacy of the New Testament Greek Text that has been preserved from the first century until the present. Dean Burgon shows the superiority of this text and the inferiority of B and Aleph and others. Order DBS #1159 for a gift of $16.00 + $5.00 S&H. A hardback book over 300 pages.

6. The Cause of Corruption Of The Traditional Text, by Dean John William Burgon Dean Burgon, gives detailed illustrations of five accidental causes and ten intentional causes of the corruption of the original traditional text. The book is replete with condemnation of the B & Aleph, Vatican & Sinai manuscripts, and the Westcott and Hort and other critical Greek New Testament Texts. Order DBS #1160 for a gift of $15.00 + $5.00 S&H. A hardback book almost 300 pages.

7. Forever Settled by Jack Moorman. This is a survey of the documents and history of the Bible, illustrated with pictures of various Hebrew and Greek texts. An excellent textbook for those interested in the background of the current textual battle. Order DBS #1428 for a gift of $20.00 + $5.00 S&H. Hardback book over 300 pages.

8. Ten Reasons Why the D.B.S. Deserves Its Name by Dr. D. A. Waite, President of the Dean Burgon Society. The booklet is paperback, perfect bound. It uses the letters of DEANBURGON and explains how both Dean Burgon and the DBS were and are Defending, Educational, Adamant, Neglected, Believing, Undaunted, Relevant, Growing, Obedient, and Needed. Order DBS #1847 for a gift of $5.00 + $2.00 S&H.

9. Scrivener's Annotated Greek New Testament by Dr. Fred- erick Scrivener. Order DBS #1670 @ $35 (hardback) $45 (leather) + $5.00 S&H.

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