Updated: Feb 14
For those of us who believe in divine intervention in the affairs of men, the issue of whether or not God helped preserve the word of God should not be difficult to swallow. I know people who believe that in our time God and God alone still selects who should be saved and who should be damned, but those same people think that God preserving his word is too extreme for any sensible person to believe. I know people who believe that a man elected by cardinals from within a select group of themselves can be imbued with an infallibility that God is bound to respect if he should speak ex-cathedra, (that is within his position and seat), and yet these same people think that Jesus keeping his promise to preserve his word is somehow pushing things too far.
I know people who believe that men and women in churches today can prophesy with Holy Ghost anointing and accuracy, but are suspicious of God's willingness to preserve a perfect bible. I know people who claim the guidance of God in their daily decision making, but somehow can't see a role for God in preserving his word. In each of these cases we have men and women making decisions about church membership, church rules, church decisions or policy and everyday life who attribute their decisions to God. What they all have in common is a deep suspicion of anyone who claims to be led by the written word of God.
There are many reasons for this. Foremost is an almost universal belief that there is no perfect bible. Secondly, there is the common assumption that the bible contradicts itself and that those pulling ideas out of its pages do so with a prejudice of aforethought that makes their findings suspect. In other words, in a book too diverse and written by too many men over too long of a period of time, and a book that has suffered the tampering of countless men over the millennia, anyone can prove anything they want by highlighting one text over another. They are buttressed in that belief by the existence of many people who do just that.
Since men of my ilk are often tarred with that brush let me say a few things. First of all I do not want to believe anything that requires me to dampen or even suppress a part of my intellect. In my lifetime I have heard many plausible theologies and other theories that seemed pretty reasonable if the hearer was to squint just right when he looked at the facts. In fact almost every religion on this earth is filled with adherents who feel religiously bound to keep squinting and feel guilty when they don't. I personally hate that. The day when my people need to squint and cock their heads just right to believe what I am saying is the day I need to quit.
The very week that I write this has seen articles trumpeting the finding of the oldest fossil known to man. It is a one celled fossil. Doesn't anyone wonder where the two celled fossils are? Imagine how many years one celled life must have been the predominant life form on earth, and imagine how many eons were involved in the evolution of two celled, four celled, eight celled, sixteen celled, thirty two celled and so on creatures. We live in an age where the science of our day squints and hold their heads just right to pretend that such creatures existed. As an American I wholly uphold the right of any man or woman to squint just right, cock their head and hold such clap trap to be true.
There is no evidence of what they believe, only a heart felt belief that all is well as long as they believe it. Their very world view is shaped by the certainty that they evolved from one celled creatures. These same people look at me as intellectually suspect in that I believe that I was created and that I believe that my creator left me a written record, and that he preserved that record exactly as he promised he would. What they don't understand is that I don't have to squint to believe it.
I don't have the time or the space in this post to argue the infallibility of the bible. What I do want to say is that the book known as the bible, written by many men over 1800 years and passed down to us for 2000 years of history and translated into many languages dead and alive, is absolutely accurate today down to the slightest nuances of text.
If I were to come to you in a secluded spot in the woods and claim that I had driven there in my car, you might think that I lied if you didn't think that any path through the woods was drivable. If I were to demonstrate to you that there was indeed just such a path it would not prove that I was telling the truth, it would merely demonstrate that I could be telling the truth. Your first objection to my statement would have been based on a mistaken belief that no car could have driven to you. Upon seeing that your belief was wrong you must now examine my claim on other grounds.
What I seek to do with these posts is to demonstrate that all of the scholars and clergy who claim that an inerrant transmission of the bible is impossible are wrong. I can demonstrate quite well that the sacred text of the Jews was incorporated into the Gentile Bible along with the New Testament. I can demonstrate quite easily that that same text was quickly and according to scriptural principals rendered in common languages spoken by common people.
The transmission of this text was carried out in Latin, Syrian, Coptic, Gothic and English. The entrenched clergy of our day stand stupefied and scratching their heads while they search through the remnants of old Greek texts much like a befuddled basketball player wondering how his opponent who was streaking in for a layup got by him. These same clergy keep translating their poor warn out texts over and over again with little hope of ever achieving anything they can trust. Meanwhile the great work of God goes forward with vulgar (common language) texts that work.
The English translation known as the King James Bible has a clear and demonstrable path that leads from 1611 until today. Before that, its transmission was from one common tongue to another all the way back to the cross. Even King James Bible professing Baptists stumble at this. Perhaps we will never change their minds. What we will do is demonstrate that they need not put the least part of their intellect on hold to believe it. There is a path and it will run through Cambridge...