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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 . . .
 

How We Got Our Bible

Pastor D. A. Waite, Th.D., Ph.D.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I.   THE PURPOSE OF THE BIBLE--WHY GOD GAVE US OUR BIBLE
   A. To PROVIDE people with the specific knowledge of God's WILL
   B. To PREPARE people for close FELLOWSHIP with the Lord
II.  THE PRODUCTION OF THE BIBLE--HOW GOD GUARANTEED OUR BIBLE
   A.  Plenary, Verbal REVELATION of the Bible
     1.  GENERAL Revelation
     2. SPECIAL Revelation
   B. Plenary, Verbal INSPIRATION of the Bible
     1. The PERSONNEL of Inspiration
     2. The PROCESS of Inspiration
   C.  Plenary, Verbal INERRANCY of the Bible
     1. Not Mere "Limited" Inerrancy
     2. But "Total" Inerrancy
III. THE PROTECTION OF THE BIBLE--HOW GOD GUARDED OUR BIBLE
  A. The Plenary, Verbal PRESERVATION of the Bible
    1.  The PROMISE of Bible Preservation
    2. The PRACTICE of Bible Preservation
      a.  The MATERIALS of Writing
      b.  The MANUSCRIPTS of Writing
        (1) The OLD TESTAMENT
        (2) The NEW TESTAMENT
  B. The Plenary, Verbal TRANSLATION Of The Bible
    1. Proper TEXTS Must Be Used
    2.  Proper TRANSLATORS Must Be Used
    3.   Proper TECHNIQUES Must Be Used
IV. THE PARTAKING OF THE BIBLE--HOW THE BIBLE GETS HOLD OF US
  A.  Plenary, Verbal READING of the Bible
  B. Plenary, Verbal HEEDING of the Bible
I. THE PURPOSE OF THE BIBLE--WHY GOD GAVE US OUR BIBLE

A. To PROVIDE people with the specific knowledge of God's WILL.

B. To PREPARE people for close FELLOWSHIP with the Lord.

  1. ADAM AND EVE. ():  "And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. (16) And the LORD God COMMANDED the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat. (17) But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." ()

  2. ENOCH.  ():  "And Enoch WALKED WITH GOD. . . And Enoch WALKED WITH GOD and he was not; for God took him."  ()

  3. NOAH.  ():  "But Noah FOUND GRACE in the eyes of the Lord." (Gen. 6:8) "And the LORD SAID unto Noah, COME thou and all thy house unto the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation." ().

  4. ABRAHAM.  ():  "Now the Lord HAD SAID unto Abram, GET THEE OUT of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house unto a land that I will shew thee." ().

  5. MOSES.

(1) :  "And the Lord said unto Moses, WRITE THIS FOR A MEMORIAL in a BOOK, and REHEARSE IT in the ears of Joshua . . ."  ()
(2) :  "And Moses WROTE all the WORDS of the Lord,  . . ." ()  "And he took the BOOK of the covenant and READ IN THE AUDIENCE OF THE PEOPLE: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we DO, and be OBEDIENT." () "And the LORD  said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and COMMANDMENTS WHICH I HAVE WRITTEN; that thou mayest TEACH THEM." ().

Production

II. THE PRODUCTION OF THE BIBLE--HOW GOD GUARANTEED OUR BIBLE

Revelation

A. PLENARY, VERBAL REVELATION OF THE BIBLE.

1. GENERAL REVELATION.

a. CREATION. ():  " The heavens DECLARE the glory of God; and the FIRMAMENT SHEWETH His handywork. (2) Day unto day UTTERETH SPEECH, and night unto night SHEWETH KNOWLEDGE. (3) There is no SPEECH NOR LANGUAGE, where THEIR VOICE is not heard. (4) Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their WORDS to the end of the world. In them hath He set a tabernacle for the sun."  ().

2. SPECIAL REVELATION.

a. THE LIVING WORD, the Lord Jesus Christ.
b. THE WRITTEN WORD,  the Bible.

B. PLENARY, VERBAL INSPIRATION OF THE BIBLE.

 1. THE PERSONNEL OF INSPIRATION. ():
"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the SCRIPTURE is of any private interpretation. (21) for the prophecy came NOT in old time by the will of man, but HOLY MEN OF GOD SPAKE AS THEY WERE MOVED BY THE HOLY GHOST" (2 Pet. 1:20-21).   THE WORD FOR "MOVED" is pheromenoi from the Greek verb, pherO which means "bear, carry, (of a ship) drive (before the wind.)"  Being in the PASSIVE VOICE, it could be translated "being carried" or "being driven" or "being moved" by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the ACTIVE AGENT, the "Holy Men of God," were the PASSIVE AGENTS in the transmission of the Bible.

 2. THE PROCESS OF INSPIRATION.  ():
"All SCRIPTURE is given by INSPIRATION OF GOD, and is profitable for . . ." ().   THE GREEK for the first eight words of this verse contains just three words: pasa graphE theopneustos.  PASA means "all" or "every" from which we get the word, "plenary," "plenty," or plentitude."  GRAPHE means "writing" or "what is written down" from which we get "verbal" (extending to EACH LETTER!).  THEOPNEUSTOS is from THEOS (God) and PNEUO (to breathe), and means "GOD-BREATHED" from which we get that it is TOTALLY INERRANT and TOTALLY INFALLIBLE since God Himself who is INERRANT and INFALLIBLE is its Author.

C. PLENARY, VERBAL INERRANCY OF THE BIBLE.

  1. NOT MERE "LIMITED" INERRANCY.

a. Such as limited by "FAITH AND PRACTICE," or
b. Such as limited by "REVELATIONAL MATTERS," or
c. Such as limited by "THEOLOGY AND DOCTRINE."

 2. BUT "TOTAL" INERRANCY, which includes:

a. HISTORY,
b. SCIENCE,
c. CREATION,
d. CHRONOLOGY,
e. GEOGRAPHY,
f. ARCHEOLOGY,
g. SOCIOLOGY,
h. "ALL MATTERS OF WHICH IT SPEAKS."

III. THE PROTECTION OF THE BIBLE--HOW GOD GUARDED OUR BIBLE

 A. PLENARY, VERBAL PRESERVATION OF THE BIBLE.

1.  THE PROMISE OF BIBLE PRESERVATION. (24 Verses):

  (1) :  "Ye shall not add unto the WORD which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS of the Lord your God which I command you." ()

  (2) :  "And He humbled thee, . . . that He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by EVERY WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live." ()

  (3) :  "The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are REVEALED belong UNTO US AND TO OUR CHILDREN FOR EVER, that we may DO ALL THE WORDS of this law." ()

  (4) :  "Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observeth to do according to ALL THE LAW, which MOSES my servant COMMANDED thee: turn not from it to the RIGHT HAND OR TO THE LEFT, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. (8) This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do ALL THAT IS WRITTEN THEREIN: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous and then thou shalt have good success." ()

  (5) :  "The WORDS OF THE LORD are pure WORDS; as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. (7) Thou shalt KEEP THEM, 0 Lord, thou shalt PRESERVE THEM from this generation FOR EVER." ()

  (6) :  "FOR EVER, O Lord, Thy WORD IS SETTLED IN HEAVEN." ()

  (7) :  "Thy TESTIMONIES have I taken as an heritage FOR EVER; for they are the rejoicing of my heart." ()

  (8) :  "Concerning THY TESTIMONIES, I have known of old that THOU HAST FOUNDED THEM FOR EVER." ()

  (9) :  "Thy WORD is true from the beginning: and EVERY ONE of THY RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENTS ENDURETH FOR EVER."  ()

  (10) :  "I know that WHATSOEVER GOD DOETH, it shall be FOR EVER: nothing can be put to it NOR ANY THING TAKEN FROM  IT: and God doeth it, that men should fear before Him." ()

  (11) :  "Now go, WRITE IT before them in a table, and note it IN A BOOK, THAT IT MAY BE FOR THE TIME TO COME FOREVER AND EVER." ()

  (12) :  " . . . All flesh is as grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: (7) The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. (8) The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but THE WORD OF OUR GOD SHALL STAND FOR EVER."  ()

  (13) :  "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." ()

  (14) :  "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. (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."  ()

  (15) :  "Therefore, whosoever heareth THESE SAYINGS OF MINE, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock." ()

  (16) :  "Heaven and earth shall pass away, BUT MY WORDS SHALL NOT PASS AWAY."  ()

  (17) :  ". . . 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." ()

  (18) :  "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." ()

  (19) :  "If he called them gods, (Psalm 82:6) unto whom the Word of God came, and the SCRIPTURE CANNOT BE BROKEN; . . ." ()

  (20) :  "And He is before all things, and by Him ALL THINGS CONSIST (HOLD TOGETHER, OR ARE PRESERVED)."  ()

  (21) :  "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of INCORRUPTIBLE, by the WORD OF GOD, WHICH LIVETH AND ABIDETH FOR EVER."  ()

  (22) :  "But the WORD OF THE LORD ENDURETH FOR EVER. And this is the WORD which by the gospel is preached unto you." ()

  (23) :  "For the TRUTH'S  SAKE, which DWELLETH WITH US, AND SHALL BE WITH US FOR EVER." ()

  (24) :  "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: (19) 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."  ()

THE USE OF THE PERFECT  TENSE IN GREEK "IT IS WRITTEN."  [NOTE: Wherever the expression, "IT IS WRITTEN" occurs in the New Testament, it represents the Greek PERFECT TENSE for the word, GRAPHO ("to write"). The form is GEGRAPTAI (or the PERFECT PARTICIPLE, GEGRAMMENOS) which, in the PERFECT TENSE means, "It has been WRITTEN in the past, and the RESULTS of that writing REMAIN right down to the present so that it STILL STANDS WRITTEN JUST AS IT WAS WRITTEN BEFORE! For the Greek gram- matical rules on this use of the PERFECT TENSE, see A MANUAL GRAMMAR OF THE GREEK NEW TESTAMENT, by Dana and Mantey,  pp. 200-205.  Note the following references:
 (1) :   "for thus IT IS WRITTEN (gegraptai) by the prophet . . ."

 (2) :   "IT IS WRITTEN  (gegraptai)  Man shall not live by . . ."

 (3) :   "for IT IS WRITTEN (gegraptai) He shall give His angels . . ." (Satan here agrees with BIBLE PRESERVATION!)

 (4) :   "IT IS WRITTEN (gegraptai), Thou shalt not tempt . . ."

 (5) :   "for IT IS WRITTEN (gegraptai) Thou shalt worship the . . . "

 (6) :   "For this is He of whom IT IS WRITTEN (gegraptai) . . . "

 (7) :   "IT IS WRITTEN (gegraptai) My house shall be called . . ."

 (8) :   "Son of man goeth as IT IS WRITTEN (gegraptai) of Him . . ."

 (9) :   "IT IS WRITTEN (gegraptai) I will smite the shepherd . . ."

And likewise for these references:

(10) MARK 1:2; (11) Mk. 7:6; (12) Mk. 9:12; (13) Mk. 9:13; (14) Mk. 11:17; (15) Mk. 14:21; (16) Mk. 14:27; (17) LUKE 2:23; (18) Lk. 3:4; (19) Lk. 4:4; (20) Lk. 4:8; (21) Lk. 4:10; (22) Lk. 4:17 (En gegrammenon); (23) Lk. 7:27; (24) Lk. 10:26; (25) Lk. 18:31 (gegrammena); (26) Lk. 19:46; (27) Lk. 20:17 (gegrammenon); (28) Lk. 21:22 (gegrammena); (29) Lk. 22:37 (gegrammenon); (30) Lk. 23:38 (gegrammenE); (31) Lk. 24:44 (gegrammena, etc.); (32) Lk. 24:46; (33) JOHN 2:17; (34) Jn. 6:31; (35) Jn. 6:45; (36) Jn. 8:17; (37) Jn. 10:34; (38) Jn. 12:14; (39) Jn. 12:16;(40) Jn. 15:25; (41) Jn. 19:20; (42) Jn. 19:22; (43) Jn. 20:30; (44) Jn. 20:31; (45) ACTS 1:20; (46) Acts 7:42 (47) Acts 13:29; (48) Acts 13:33; (49) Acts 15:15; (50) Acts 23:5; (51) Acts 24:14; (52) ROMANS 1:17; (53) Rom. 2:24; (54) Rom. 3:4; (55) Rom. 3:10; (56) Rom. 4:17; (57) Rom. 4:23; (58) Rom. 8:36; (59) Rom. 9:13; (60) Rom. 9:33; (61) Rom. 10:15; (62) Rom. 11:8; (63) Rom. 11:26; (64) Rom. 12:19; (65) Rom. 14:11; (66) Rom. 15:3; (67) Rom. 15:9; (68) Rom. 15:21; (69) 1 CORINTHIANS 1:19; (70) 1 Cor. 1:31; (71) 1 Cor. 2:9; (72 ) 1 Cor. 3:19; (73) 1 Cor. 9:9; (74) 1 Cor. 9:10; (75) 1 Cor. 10:7; (76) 1 Cor. 14:21; (77) 1 Cor. 15:45; (78) 1 Cor. 15:54; (79) 2 CORINTHIANS 4:13; (80) 2 Cor. 8:15; (81) 2 Cor. 9:9; (82) GALATIANS 3:10 (twice); (83) Gal. 3:13; (84) Gal. 4:22; (85) Gal. 4:27; (86) HEBREWS 10:7; (87) 1 PETER 1:16;

GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISES!

  (1) :  "Who hast KEPT with thy servant David my father THAT THOU PROMISEDST HIM; THOU SPAKEST ALSO WITH THY MOUTH, AND HAST FULFILLED IT WITH THINE HAND as it is this day." ()

  (2) :  "He (Abraham) staggered not at the PROMISE OF GOD THROUGH UNBELIEF; but was STRONG IN FAITH, giving glory to God; (21) And BEING FULLY PERSUADED THAT, WHAT HE HAD PROMISED, HE WAS ABLE ALSO TO PERFORM."  ().

  (3) :  "In hope of eternal life, which GOD, THAT CANNOT LIE, PROMISED before the world began." ()

  (4) :  "Let us HOLD FAST the profession of our faith WITHOUT WAVERING, (FOR HE IS FAITHFUL THAT PROMISED."  ()

  (5) :  "For ye have need of PATIENCE, that, after ye have DONE the WILL OF GOD, ye might receive the PROMISE." ()

THE PROVIDENTIAL PRESERVATION OF THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE TEXTS HAS BEEN HELD THROUGHOUT CHURCH HISTORY.

 (1) Some of the HISTORIC CONFESSIONS OF FAITH which have this statement of PROVIDENTIAL PRESERVATION of the original language texts are:
  (a) The LONDON BAPTIST CONFESSION of 1677 and 1689;
  (b) the PHILADELPHIA BAPTIST CONFESSION of about 1743;
  (c) the Westminster CONFESSION of 1646; and
  (d) the SAVOY CONFESSION of 1652. [DEAN BURGON SOCIETY statement, 7/82 in DEAN BURGON NEWS].

 (2) The statement of the LONDON BAPTIST CONFESSION OF 1689 is in part:
  "8. 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 IMMEDIATELY INSPIRED BY GOD, AND BY HIS SINGULAR CARE AND PROVIDENCE KEPT PURE IN ALL AGES, are therefore AUTHENTICAL; . . ." [Loc. cit. also Cf. Westminster Confession of Faith, Article VIll].

Practice

2. THE PRACTICE OF BIBLE PRESERVATION

a. THE MATERIALS OF WRITING
  (1) MATERIALS USED IN GENERAL IN ANCIENT TIMES: (Cf. GENERAL BIBLICAL INTRODUCTION FROM GOD TO US, By Rev. H. S. Miller (HSM), M.A., 1960, pp. 168-73; and A GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE BIBLE By Norman L. Geisler & William E. Nix, 1979, pp. 227-29)
   (a) CLAY--Many clay tablets exist, written before 2500 B.C., 1 to 18" long, average size was 6" x 2 ". (HSM,  p. 169)
   (b) STONE--As old as clay tablets, or older, on obelisks, pillars, walls, statues, sides of houses, natural stone, prepared tablets. Cf. Rosetta Stone in Egypt, the Moabite Stone, and the Ten Commandments  (). (HSM,  p. 169)
   (c) LEAD--Used for records and literary works. (Cf. ) (HSM,  p. 169).
   (d) BRONZE tablets--(HSM,  p. 169)
   (e) GOLD tablets & coins--(HSM,  p. 169)
   (f) SILVER tablets & coins-- (HSM,  p. 170)
   (g) PRECIOUS STONES-(HSM,  p. 170)
   (h) IVORY--(HSM, p. 170)
   (i) BONES & HORNS OF ANIMALS--(HSM, p. 170)
   (j) WOOD & BARK--(HSM, p. 170)
   (k) WAX tablets--where permanence was not required,  (HSM, p. 170)
   (l) LINEN--(HSM, p. 170)

 (2) OLD TESTAMENT WRITING MATERIALS
  (a) PAPYRUS--Used in Egypt as early as 2700 B.C. Might have been used by O.T. writers but would become brittle with age. (HSM, p. 170)
  (b) LEATHER--Also  used at an early date in Egypt in the 4th dynasty (2900--2750 B.C.).  Skins of sheep or goats were used (HSM, p. 170)
  (c) ROLLS--Skins were cut into sheets and the sheets were sewed together side by side to make the required length, from a few feet to 100 or more feet, depending  on number of books to be written on the roll.  It might be 18" to 27" or more high. The skin was either wound in a single roll, with or without a stick, or wound with two sticks, one at each end.  Text was written in columns perpendicular to the length of the roll.  HSM,  pp. 170-71)
  (d) EXTANT HEBREW MANUSCRIPTS--
   I. Either SYNAGOGUE ROLLS, without vowel points, on SKINS or PARCHMENT, or
   II. PRIVATE MANUSCRIPTS, usually in codex or book form, written mostly with vowel  points on PARCHMENT or, more frequently on COTTON or LINEN PAPER.  (HSM,  p. 171)
 (3) NEW TESTAMENT WRITING MATERIALS
  (a) PAPYRUS--It is supposed that the original N.T. manuscripts were written on papyrus, the usual material for the first 3 centuries.  Sheets were made from 6" to 15" high and from 3" to 9" wide.  Rolls were made by pasting sheets together, side by side, usually from 30' to 90' long, one was 144' long.  (HSM, p. 171).
  (b) VELLUM--Fine quality of leather specially prepared for writing on both sides. PARCHMENT is almost the same as VELLUM, though was from the skin of CALVES AND ANTELOPES; parchment from the skin of SHEEP AND GOATS.  Vellum goes back to 3rd Century B.C. or further.  Almost all known manuscripts are written upon VELLUM OR PARCHMENT.  In the 4th century, vellum began to supplant PAPYRUS as the recognized material for permanent writing. (HSM, p.171)
  (c) PAPER--This was made in China as early as the 2nd century B.C. Came to Arabia in 8th century A.D.  Brought to Europe in 10th, manufactured in Europe in the 12th, common from the 13th century A.D. From 13th to invention of printing (1450 A.D.), PAPER and VELLUM ran side by side, and thereafter, PAPER has won the race. (HSM,  p. 171).
  (d) INK--Hebrew word for "ink" means "slowly flowing" ();  The Greek word means "black"  (). The ink was usually BLACK, made of soot, or lampblack, and gum diluted with water.  Some N.T. manuscripts & some versions have RED, BLUE, GREEN, or YELLOW.  (HSM,  p. 173).
  (e) INKHORN--case of wood, horn, or metal which the scribe wore at his side.  It consisted of a long tube for reed pens and a cup at the top for ink. (HSM,  p. 173)
  (f) STYLUS OR STYLE--was ordinarily a stick of metal or hard wood, even bone, having a sharp end and a triangular-shaped end.  (HSM,  p.173)
  (g) CHISEL--for cutting stone  ("iron pen" and the "point of a diamond,")  cf. ;  (HSM,  p. 173)
  (h) PEN--or reed (calamus) used for writing on skins, papyrus, and vellum (; compare ).  A "penknife" was used to sharpen the  "pen."  ().  (HSM,  p.173)

b. THE MANUSCRIPTS OF WRITING
(1) OLD TESTAMENT HEBREW-ARAMAIC MANUSCRIPTS AND EVIDENCE.
  (a) THE NUMBER OF HEBREW MANUSCRIPTS AVAILABLE
   I' MILLER [GENERAL BIBLICAL INTRODUCTION, 1960] said there were "ABOUT 1,700 when he wrote, and the number was increasing by new discoveries. (HSM,  pp. 188-89)
   II' GEISLER & NIX  [A GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE BIBLE, 1979] alludes to there being, as of 1784-88, "731 manuscripts and 300 printed editions" [G&N, p. 249, quoting Kenyon, pp. 70-71].  If this would be added together, it would total 1,031 in 1784-88.
   III' THE REASON FOR THE SCARCITY OF HEBREW MANUSCRIPTS as opposed to the Greek Manuscripts (over 5,255)
    A' APOSTASY AND PERSECUTIONS under Kings Ahaz, Manasseh, and Amon, plus capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar (606-586 B.C.), by Antiochus Ephiphanes, with the Maccabean persecutions (170-165 B.C.) , and by Titus (70 A.D.); the results of revolt under Bar Cochba (132-135 A.D.); the persecutions under Roman Emperors, wars and troubles of various kinds--in many of these disasters, the Scriptures were ORDERED DESTROYED.
    B' WHEN A COPY WAS WORN OUT, mutilated, or became useless by being condemned because of "SOME SLIGHT ERROR IN COPYING," it would be REVERENTLY BURIED by the Jews so as not to fall into the hands of a Gentile to be profaned.  (HSM,  p. 188).
    C' IN ABOUT 600-700 A.D. THE MASORETES STANDARDIZED THE HEBREW TEXT, and all copies that varied from this standard text were destroyed.
   (b) THE METHODS USED BY THE JEWS TO INSURE ACCURATE COPIES OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
   I' MILLER GIVES EIGHT METHODS used for the SYNAGOGUE ROLLS (These were read in public services, and had the Pentateuch on one roll, selections of the Prophets on two other rolls, and the Megilloth or "five rolls" each on a roll by itself):
(1)  The parchment must be made from the skin of clean animals; must be prepared by a Jew only, and the skins must be fastened together by strings taken from clean animals.

(2)  Each column must have no less than 48 nor more than 60 lines.  The entire copy must be first lined. 

(3)  The ink must be of no other color than black, and it must be prepared according to a special recipe. 

(4)  No word nor letter could be written from memory; the scribe must have an authentic copy before him, and he must read and pronounce aloud each word before writing it.

(5)  He must reverently wipe his pen each time before writing the word for "God" [which is Elohim] and he must wash his whole body before writing the name "Jehovah" [which is translated "LORD" in our KING JAMES BIBLE] lest the Holy Name be contaminated. 

(6)  Strict rules were given concerning forms of the letters, spaces between letters, words, and sections, the use of the pen, the color of the parchment, etc.

(7)  The revision of a roll must be made within 30 days after the work was finished; otherwise it was worthless.  ONE MISTAKE ON A SHEET CONDEMNED THE SHEET; IF THREE MISTAKES WERE FOUND ON ANY PAGE, THE ENTIRE MANUSCRIPT WAS CONDEMNED. 

(8)  Every word and every letter was counted, and IF A LETTER WERE OMITTED, AN EXTRA LETTER INSERTED, OR IF ONE LETTER TOUCHED ANOTHER, THE MANUSCRIPT WAS CONDEMNED AND DESTROYED AT ONCE." (HSM, pp. 184-85) (PRIVATE COPIES were also made, and, although they were made with great care, they did not have such strict rules as the SYNAGOGUE ROLLS for public reading.)
   II'  THESE RULES SHOW HOW SACRED the Jews believed their Old Testament to be as its CUSTODIANS ()  "What advantage then hath the JEW? or what profit is there of circumcision? (2) Much every way: chiefly, BECAUSE UNTO THEM WERE COMMITTED THE ORACLES OF GOD." ().
   III' THESE RULES ALSO  GIVE US STRONG ENCOURAGEMENT to BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE THE REAL OLD TESTAMENT, the SAME ONE WHICH OUR LORD JESUS HAD and which was ORIGINALLY GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD!  (HSM,  p. 185)
   IV' GEISLER & NIX (p. 241) give These ADDITIONAL RULES FOR COPYING THE HEBREW OLD TESTAMENT:
(1) Between every consonant the space of a hair or thread must intervene, between every new PARASHAH, or section, the breadth of nine consonants, between every book, three lines.
(2) The fifth book of Moses (Deuteronomy) must terminate exactly with a line, but the rest need not do so.
(3) A copyist must sit in FULL JEWISH DRESS, wash his whole body, and not begin to write the Name of God with a pen newly dipped in ink, and should even a KING address him while writing that Name, he must take no notice of him. (G&N,  p. 241, quoting  Samuel Davidson, THE HEBREW TEXT OF THE OLD TESTAMENT,  p. 89)
  (c) THE MASORETES
   I' THIS WORD MEANS "TRADITIONALISTS"and they standardized the Hebrew Old Testament in about 600-700 A.D. by putting in the vowel pointings to aid pronunciation of the consonantal Hebrew text.  (HSM,  p. 188).
   II' THE MASORETES  FLOURISHED ABOUT 500 TO 1000 A.D. ,  and their text is called the "MASORETIC TEXT" (M.T.)  or the "TRADITIONAL TEXT" of the Old Testament. (HSM,  pp. 161).
  (d) THE BEST OLD TESTAMENT TEXT IS THE TRADITIONAL MASORETIC HEBREW TEXT
   I' THE LORD JESUS CHRIST APPEALED UNRESERVEDLY TO THE TRADITIONAL OLD TESTAMENT HEBREW TEXT.  "On this point HILLS wrote: 'During His earthly life the Lord Jesus Christ APPEALED UNRESERVEDLY TO THE VERY WORDS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT  TEXT (), THUS INDICATING HIS CONFIDENCE THAT THIS TEXT HAD BEEN ACCURATELY TRANSMITTED.  Not only so, but He also expressed this conviction IN THE STRONGEST POSSIBLE MANNER. Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled () . . . Here our Lord assures us that the OLD TESTAMENT TEXT IN COMMON USE AMONG THE JEWS DURING HIS EARTHLY MINISTRY WAS AN ABSOLUTELY TRUST- WORTHY REPRODUCTION OF THE ORIGINAL TEXT WRITTEN BY MOSES AND THE OTHER . . . WRITERS."  [Cf. THE CASE FOR THE KING JAMES VERSION  by Pastor D. A. Waite, Th.D., Ph.D., BFT #83, pp. 13-14].
   II' ROBERT DICK WILSON BELIEVED THE MASORETIC TRADITIONAL HEBREW TEXT THAT EXISTED IN CHRIST'S DAY WAS IN EXISTENCE FROM THE BEGINNING.  "Henry W. Coray, in reflecting on the life and ministry of ROBERT DICK WILSON, a man who had MASTERED SOME ‘45 ANCIENT LANGUAGES AND DIALECTS' and who 'was a staunch defender of the doctrine of VERBAL INSPIRATION OF HOLY SCRIPTURE,' affirmed that Wilson accepted as ACCURATE THE MASORETIC HEBREW TEXT. Coray, quoting WILSON, wrote: The result of those THIRTY YEARS STUDY [wrote WILSON of his own study] which I have given to the TEXT has been this: I CAN AFFIRM THAT' THERE IS NOT A PAGE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT CONCERNING WHICH WE NEED HAVE ANY DOUBT. WE CAN BE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THAT SUBSTANTIALLY WE HAVE THE TEXT OF THE OLD TESTAMENT THAT CHRIST AND THE APOSTLES HAD, AND WHICH WAS IN EXISTENCE FROM THE BEGINNING."' [THE CASE FOR THE KJV,  by DAW, BFT #83,  p. 14].
  (e) THE TRADITIONAL MASORETIC HEBREW TEXT SHOULD NOT BE CORRECTED OR CHANGED BY OTHER DOCUMENTS, BUT BE LEFT ALONE, AND MERELY BE ACCURATELY TRANS- LATED!
 I' THE SEPTUAGINT (LXX) is NO SUBSTITUTE
 II' CONJECTURE is NO SUBSTITUTE
 III' THE SYRIAC Is NO SUBSTITUTE
 IV' THE LATIN VULGATE is NO SUBSTITUTE
 V' THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS are NO SUBSTITUTE
 VI' AQUILA is NO SUBSTITUTE (GREEK O.T.)
 VII' THE SAMARITAN PENTATEUCH is NO SUBSTITUTE.
 VIII'  JEROME is NO SUBSTITUTE
 IX' JOSEPHUS is NO SUBSTITUTE
 X' ANCIENT HEBREW SCRIBAL TRADITION is NO SUBSTITUTE
 XI' Yet ALL OF THESE ABOVE PLUS ONE OTHER are used in the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION OLD TESTAMENT to contradict the TRADITIONAL MASORETIC HEBREW TEXT whenever they feel like it!

(2) NEW TESTAMENT GREEK  MANUSCRIPTS AND EVIDENCE
  (a) THE NUMBER OF MANUSCRIPTS AVAILABLE
   I' KURT ALAND (1967) ESTIMATES 5,255 As the Number Of MANUSCRIPTS Available as follows:
PAPYRUS FRAGMENTS 81
UNCIALS (Capital Letters, Majuscules) 267
CURSIVES (Small Letters, Minuscules) 2,764
LECTIONARIES (Compilations of Scripture Readings for Public Church Services)  2,143
TOTAL OF MANUSCRIPTS: **5,255
   II' PROFESSOR ZANE HODGES, of Dallas Theological Seminary, estimates that about 80% to 90% of these extant Greek Manuscripts [From 4,200 to 4,730 out of 5,255.], are of the TRADITIONAL, RECEIVED, OR MAJORITY TEXT VARIETY.  (Based on Dr. Jack Moorman's research, I estimate this to be 99% or 5,210 out of 5,255).
   III'  IT SHOULD BE POINTED OUT that HODGES' So-called "MAJORITY GREEK TEXT" Published by Nelson Publishers, does NOT take into account ALL (or even a sizeable "MAJORITY") of the above-named MANUSCRIPT SOURCES, much less the OTHER SOURCES listed below
 (b) THE SOURCES AVAILABLE FOR TEXTUAL CRITICISM:
 The following are the various SOURCES AVAILABLE FOR TEXTUAL CRITICISM OF THE NEW TESTAMENT:
  I' MANUSCRIPTS (Mentioned Above), Including:
PAPYRUS SOURCES 81
UNCIALS 267
CURSIVES 2,764
LECTIONARIES 2,143
TOTAL NUMBER: **5,255
  II' ANCIENT VERSIONS
 (Translations from Greek to other major languages made In the early centuries of the Church)  Among others, these would include the following:
A' THE PESHITTO SYRIAC VERSION (2nd Century A.D.)
B' THE CURETONIAN SYRIAC VERSION (3rd Century A.D.)
C' THE HARKLEIAN OR PHILOXENIAN SYRIAC VERSION (5th Century A.D.)
D' THE JERUSALEM SYRIAC VERSION (5th Century A.D.)
E' THE OLD LATIN (VETUS ITALA) VERSION (2nd Century A.D.)
F' THE LATIN VULGATE VERSION (382 A.D.)
G' THE BISHOP ULPHILAS GOTHIC VERSION (350 A.D.)
H' THE MEMPHITIC (COPTIC) LOWER EGYPTIAN VERSION (4th or 5th Century A.D.)
I' THE THEBAIC (SAHIDIC) UPPER EGYPTIAN VERSION (3rd Century A.D.) (Burgon, THE LAST TWELVE VERSES OF MARK, pp. 32-37)
J' THE ARMENIAN VERSION (c. 5th Century A.D.)
K' THE ETHIOPIC VERSION (c. 4th to 7th (?) Century A.D.)
L' THE GEORGIAN VERSION (c. 6th (?) Century A.D.) (LAST 12 VV. OF MARK,  p. 36)
M'  THE SLOVONIC VERSION
N' THE BOHAIRIC VERSION (Burgon, THE TRADITIONAL TEXT, p. 136)
  III' QUOTATIONS OF NEW TESTAMENT VERSES BY THE EARLY CHURCH FATHERS IN THEIR WRITINGS
   A' DEAN JOHN WILLIAM BURGON'S (of the 1800's in England) index of 16 large folio volumes of 86,489 quotations or allusions to Scripture is still in the British Museum even today [Cf. THE IDENTITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT TEXT by Wilbur N. Pickering, Ist Edition, p. 66]
   B'  BURGON GIVES THE TOTAL OF 100 CHURCH FATHERS who lived before our OLDEST MANUSCRIPTS are dated (that is, from c. 100--300 A.D.). [LAST 12 VV. OF MARK,  p. 21].
   C' BURGON GIVES THE TOTAL OF 200 MORE CHURCH FATHERS who lived between 300 and 600 A.D. (where our five oldest manuscripts would fall). [LAST 12 VERSES OF MARK, p. 21].
   D' THIS WOULD TOTAL 300 CHURCH FATHERS whose quotations of the New Testament are helpful in determining the New Testament text.

 (c) THE METHODS OF KEEPING THE TEXT PURE
  I' DEAN BURGON was of the opinion that the combined TOTAL EVIDENCE OF ANTIQUITY should determine the text of Scripture, rather than any ONE portion of it, that is, USE OF ALL THE MANUSCRIPTS, ALL THE ANCIENT VERSIONS, ALL THE LECTIONARIES, AND ALL OF THE QUOTATIONS FROM THE CHURCH FATHERS.
  II' BURGON HAD SEVEN TESTS OF TRUTH:
 (1) Antiquity or Primitiveness; (2) Consent of witnesses, or number; (3) Variety of Evidence, or Catholicity; (4) Respectability of Witnesses, or Weight; (5) Continuity, or Unbroken Tradition; (6) Evidence of the Entire Passage, or Context; (7) Internal Considerations, or Reasonableness. (CASE FOR KJV by DAW BFT #83, pp. 16-17).
  (d) THE BEST NEW TESTAMENT TEXT IS THE TRADITIONAL OR RECEIVED OR MAJORITY NEW TESTAMENT TEXT on which the King James Version is Based.  This is the text which held undisputed sway for 1800 years prior to the 1881 issue of the WESTCOTT & HORT GREEK TEXT and the ENGLISH REVISED VERSION (E.R.V.)  based upon it.
   I' EDITIONS OF THE BIBLE FOLLOWING THIS TRADITIONAL, RECEIVED, OR MAJORITY TEXT for the most part have been:
 (1) Peshitta Bible (150 A.D.); (2) Itala Bible (157 A.D.; (3) Erasmus Bible (1522 A.D.); (4) Tyndale's Bible (1525); (5) Luther's Bible (1534); (6) Coverdale Bible (1535); (7) Matthew's Bible (1537); (8) The Great Bible (1539); (9) Stephen's Bible (1550); (10) The Geneva Bible (1560); (11) The Bishop's Bible (1568); (12) Beza's Bible (1604); (13) The King James Bible (1611). [Cf. CASE FOR KJV,  BFT #83, by DAW, p. 38].
   II' THE SO-CALLED "CRITICAL TEXT" OR "WESTCOTT & HORT TEXT"(named after two theological HERETICS of the Anglican Church of 1881, see THEOLOGICAL HERESIES of WESTCOTT AND HORT (BFT #595), by DAW, is based upon Manuscript "B" or VATICANUS (and some from Manuscript "ALEPH" or SINAITICUS, both of which claim 4th Century A.D. dates (c. 350 or 375 A.D.), but they are both from EGYPT which never had any ORIGINALS of the New Testament, and they have been corrupted and tampered with by the many HERETICS of the first three Centuries of which there were "not less than EIGHTY HERETICAL PARTIES" (Cf. "CASE FOR KJV,"  BFT #83, by DAW, p. 38).  You are urged to READ for yourself the many materials available on the BROCHURES handed out, if you would like to research this further.
   III' THE EVANGELICALS AND EVEN THE FUNDAMENTALISTS ARE DIVIDED ON THIS ISSUE of the TEXTS of O.T. and N.T., unfortunately, and the controversy will NOT disappear overnight, if at all.  It is an IMPORTANT controversy, however, since it involves THE VERY WORDS OF THE LIVING GOD, AND OUR BIBLES FOR GENERATIONS TO COME!

Translation

B. PLENARY, VERBAL TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE

1. PROPER ORIGINAL LANGUAGE TEXTS MUST BE USED

  a. THE PROPER OLD TESTAMENT TEXT MUST BE THE TRADITIONAL MASORETIC HEBREW TEXT EXCLUSIVELY
   (1) THE REASONS WERE GIVEN ABOVE.
   (2) THIS TEXT REFLECTS THE CLOSEST  PLENARY, VERBAL HEBREW TEXT THAT WE POSSESS TODAY.
   (3) IF WE DESIRE PLENARY, VERBAL TRANSLATION, WE MUST BEGIN WITH A PLENARY, VERBAL ORIGINAL LANGUAGE BASE.
   (4) THE A.S.V. (1901), THE N.A.S.V. (1968), THE N.I.V. (1978), AND THE NEW KJV (1982) DO NOT USE THE TRADITIONAL MASORETIC HEBREW TEXT EXCLUSIVELY
    (a) Cf. A.S.V. pp. viii-ix
    (b) Cf. N.A.S.V., p. viii.
    (c) Cf. N.I.V., pp. viii-ix.
    (d) Cf. N.K.J.V., p. vi.
  b. THE PROPER NEW TESTAMENT TEXT MUST BE THE TRADITIONAL, RECEIVED, GREEK TEXT EXCLUSIVELY
   (1) THE REASONS WERE GIVEN ABOVE.
   (2) THIS TEXT REFLECTS THE CLOSEST PLENARY, VERBAL GREEK TEXT THAT WE POSSESS TODAY.
   (3) IF WE DESIRE PLENARY, VERBAL TRANSLATION, WE MUST BEGIN WITH A PLENARY, VERBAL ORIGINAL LANGUAGE BASE.
   (4) THE A.S.V. (1901), THE N.A.S.V. (1968), THE N.I.V. (1978), AND THE NEW K.J.V. (1982) DO NOT USE THE TRADITIONAL RECEIVED GREEK TEXT EXCLUSIVELY.
    (a) Cf. A.S.V., N.T. Preface, p. iii
    (b) Cf. N.A.S.V., p. vii (Nestle's Text used)
    (c) Cf. N.I.V., p. ix (Eclectic text)
    (d) Cf. NEW K.J.V., p. vii-viii, p. 1235 (all texts are given in footnotes and the reader is to make up his mind which to choose.)

2. PROPERLY QUALIFIED AND MOTIVATED TRANSLATORS MUST BE USED BOTH FOR THE OLD TESTAMENT, AND THE NEW TESTAMENT who will be able to render a PLENARY, VERBAL TRANSLATION

3. PROPER TECHNIQUES OF  TRANSLATION MUST BE USED BOTH FOR THE OLD TESTAMENT AND THE NEW TESTAMENT to insure a plenary, verbal translation product.

  a. A Verbal Or Formal Equivalent Technique Must Be Used.
 b. A "DYNAMIC EQUIVALENT" Technique Must Be Avoided.

Partaking

IV. THE PARTAKING OF THE BIBLE--HOW THE BIBLE GETS HOLD OF US

Reading

A. PLENARY, VERBAL READING OF THE BIBLE

  1. WE HAVE AVAILABLE A "YEARLY BIBLE READING SCHEDULE" which takes you through the Bible in one year at the rate of 85 verses per day.

  2. THIS WILL INSURE YOUR PLENARY,VERBAL READING OF THE BIBLE which is the WILL OF GOD for each one of you so that you might know and DO God's Will!

  3. IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN GETTING A SPECIAL RATE ON THIS YEARLY BIBLE READING ON CASSETTE, please write us about it. This 4-album set of 43 cassettes takes about 15' per day of listening to the Word of God and it will get you through the entire Bible in one year. Often the EYE and the EAR can work together to help you and encourage you in PLENARY, VERBAL BIBLE READING. [BFT #777/1-43TP]

  4. IF YOU WANT SOME BRIEF COMMENTS ON THE 85-VERSE SECTION, you might like to get our BRIEF CASSETTE COMMENTARY on the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation, taking about 8' to 10' daily to summarize those 85 verses you have read and listened to. [BFT #999/1-31TP]

Heeding

B. PLENARY, VERBAL HEEDING OF THE BIBLE

 1. BE YE DOERS OF THE WORD AND NOT HEARERS ONLY ()

  a. GOD WANTS YOU TO BE PLENARY, VERBAL HEEDERS OF HIS WORD in order to accomplish His will in your life each day.

 2. "YE ARE OUR EPISTLE, WRITTEN IN OUR HEARTS, KNOWN AND READ OF ALL MEN . . ."  ().

  a. GOD WANTS YOU TO BE AN OBEDIENT CHRISTIAN, FOLLOWING HIS WILL AS A PLENARY, VEREBAL HEEDER OF HIS WORD so that you can be an "EPISTLE" of value to others as well as to yourselves!

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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