by Issa Haddad

In 1915, A Russian Armenian was reading his Bible when he was beheaded. I saw the Bible–large, thick, and well used. Inside was a reddish stain that permeated most of the book. The stain was the blood of this man, one of more than a million casualties of a religious and ethnic holocaust. About 70 years later a large shipment of bibles entered Romania from the West, and Ceausescu’s (dictator of Romania) lieutenants confiscated them, shredded them, and turned them into pulp. Then they had the pulp reconstituted into toilet paper and sold to the West.

Inerrancy Defined

This is that quality of the original Scriptures, or autographs, that describes them as being without error in their recording of facts and in the inspired utterances and writings of God’s spokesmen.

 

Inerrancy and the Implication of Preservation of the Scripture

There are verses that give us a direct promise of preservation and emphasis on the continuing authority of Scripture.

Psalm 119:152 and 160 “Long have I known from your testimonies that you have founded them forever… The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.”

Matthew 5:18 “For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”

John 10:35 “If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken.”

 

There are verses that speak about preservation more indirectly.

Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.

Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

How many manuscripts of the New Testament writings do we possess today?

Over 5,000

As of 1967 the statistics were:

266            uncial texts
2,754         minuscule texts
2,135         lectionary portions
81              papyri
5,236 TOTAL

 

Conclusion

We hold that inspiration is a direct miracle of God by which human authors and human languages were employed by God to give human beings His revelation in written form (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:21). It is the original text (words, script, autograph—graphe, 2 Tim 3:16) that partakes of inspiration proper. All other texts, copies, reproductions, translations, and versions partake of inspiration in an indirect, linear fashion from previous copies and translations to the extent that they reproduce the text of the original manuscripts. We hold that only the autographs of Scripture are inerrant and that copies and translations of Scripture are inerrant insofar as they are true to the inerrant autographs. Thus any translation or version of Scripture in any language is the Word of God if it accurately reproduces what is in the original manuscripts.[1]

A complete and fuller treatment to this subject see article “The Preservation of the Scripture” by William Combs.


[1]This paragraph is a quotation from a statement prepared by the DBTS Faculty about inspiration and preservation of the Scripture: http://www.dbts.edu/pdf/shortarticles/statement.pdf.

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