"AS I SEE IT" 

Volume 8, Number 11, November 2005

 

“I too will have my say; I too will tell what I know.

For I am full of words, and the spirit within me compels me;

Inside I am like bottled-up wine, like new wineskins ready to burst.

I must speak and find relief; I must open my lips and reply.

I will show partiality to no one.  Nor will I flatter any man.”

Job 32:17-21

 

[“As I See It” is a monthly electronic magazine compiled and edited by Doug Kutilek.  Its purpose is to address important issues of the day and to draw attention to worthwhile Christian and other literature in order to aid believers in Jesus Christ, especially pastors, missionaries and Bible college and seminary students to more effectively study and teach the Word of God.  The editor’s perspective is that of an independent Baptist of fundamentalist theological persuasion.

 

AISI is sent free to all who request it by writing to the editor at: DKUTILEK@juno.com.  You can be removed from the mailing list at the same address.  Back issues sent on request.  All back issues may be accessed at http://www.KJVOnly.org

 

All articles are by the editor (unless otherwise noted) and are copyrighted but may be reproduced for distribution, provided the following conditions are met: 1. articles must be reproduced in unedited, unabridged form; 2. the writer must be properly credited; and, 3. such reproduction must be for free distribution only.  Permission to distribute in any other form must be secured in writing beforehand.  Permission for reproduction in Christian print periodicals will generally be given.]

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DARWINISM: A WORTHLESS RESEARCH TOOL

 

Professor Phillip S. Skell is Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His research has included work on reactive intermediates in chemistry, free-atom reactions, and reactions of free carbonium ions.

  

Here is a remarkable statement by him, taken from his full article at http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=2816

 

Skell writes,

 

. . . [T]he modern form of Darwin's theory has been raised to its present high status because it's said to be the cornerstone of modern experimental biology.  But is that correct?. . .

 

. . .[M]y own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution.  Nor did Alexander Fleming's discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin.  I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin's theory was wrong.  The responses were all the same: No.

I also examined the outstanding biodiscoveries of the past century: the discovery of the double helix; the characterization of the ribosome; the mapping of genomes; research on medications and drug reactions; improvements in food production and sanitation; the development of new surgeries; and others.  I even queried biologists working in areas where one would expect the Darwinian paradigm to have most benefited research, such as the emergence of resistance to antibiotics and pesticides.  Here, as elsewhere, I found that Darwin's theory had provided no discernible guidance, but was brought in, after the breakthroughs, as an interesting narrative gloss.

In the peer-reviewed literature, the word "evolution" often occurs as a sort of coda to academic papers in experimental biology.  Is the term integral or superfluous to the substance of these papers? To find out, I substituted for "evolution" some other word - "Buddhism," "Aztec cosmology," or even "creationism."  I found that the substitution never touched the paper's core.  This did not surprise me.  From my conversations with leading researchers it had became clear that modern experimental biology gains its strength from the availability of new instruments and methodologies, not from an immersion in historical biology.

 

So much for the often-repeated claims that Darwinism is essential to the “doing” of modern science. 

 

(Note: the above reference was brought to my attention by Dr. Paul Ackerman, professor of psychology at Wichita State University and a vigorous advocate of a young-earth, recent creation).

---Doug Kutilek

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An Unnoticed Argument for an Early Date for the Synoptics

 

One incident in the life of Jesus which all four Gospels note (and such cases are few in number) is the amputation of the high priest’s servant’s ear in Gethsemane by a sword-wielding disciple of Jesus (Mark 14:47 = Matthew 26:51 = Luke 22:50 = John 18:10).  By comparing the four accounts side by side, one fact becomes immediately evident--only John identifies this disciple by name: Peter (18:10, 26).  The Synoptic writers are perfectly silent about his identity.  Why?  One possible explanation that comes immediately to mind is that assaulting someone with a deadly weapon, indeed, attempting first degree murder, would subject this individual as long as he lived to criminal prosecution.  This in turn suggests that Peter’s name was deliberately left out because he was still very much alive when these Gospels were written. 

 

While it is true that ancient tradition reports that Mark wrote after Peter’s death (so affirmed Irenaeus around 180 A.D.), yet the evidence from the Gospels themselves speaks otherwise.  The date of Peter’s death is somewhat uncertain--after Paul and therefore likely between A.D. 64 and A.D. 67 are commonly held views.  A chain of evidence requires that Mark was written before this, perhaps as much as a decade: I Timothy 5:18 quotes Luke 10:7 as Scripture (equal in authority with Deuteronomy 25:4).  I Timothy, was written by Paul in the period between his two Roman imprisonments, that is in the time frame A.D. 62-64.  This necessarily requires that Luke’s Gospel be earlier.  Furthermore, the Gospel precedes Acts (Acts 1:1ff), and Acts abruptly ends (28:30, 31) with the issue in Paul’s first imprisonment and trial unsettled--an unimaginable ending for the book if Paul had already been acquitted and released at the time of writing.  So, Acts must have been published in A.D. 62.  And Luke is necessarily earlier.

 

This in turn brings us to the issue of Luke’s dependence on Mark as one of the written accounts known to him (Luke 1:1-4) and a source from which he drew information for his Gospel.   (Some zealous but unthinking writers--I speak specifically of David Cloud--have denounced the idea that Luke, and Matthew, could have in part used written sources, particularly Mark, in compiling their Gospels, as though consulting an earlier and fully-inspired account of the life of Jesus was somehow inconsistent with the doctrine of verbal plenary inspiration.  Such men fail to note the parallel instance of the writing of I & II Chronicles, wherein the writer(s) of those books unquestionably made use of the earlier books of I & II Samuel and I & II Kings, sometimes quoting verbatim at great length, at other times altering the phraseology or “editing” the text in the writing of their later inspired books.  If inspiration were inconsistent with consultation of written sources, then we would expect that no New Testament writer would ever quote from the written text of the Old Testament!).

 

Beyond reasonable doubt, Luke in writing his Gospel, before A.D. 62 (perhaps as much as a year or two), consulted Mark’s Gospel in the writing of his own, and therefore necessarily, Mark’s Gospel existed still earlier, in the decade of the 50s.  This in turn requires that, contrary to Irenaeus’ assertion, Mark wrote before Peter’s death by several years. 

 

The absence of Peter’s name in the Synoptics’ accounts of the amputation of Malchus’ ear is thereby explained: Peter--potentially still subject to prosecution for this rash act, was still very much alive, and the early date for the Synoptic Gospels Mark and Luke and Matthew--before Peter’s death ca. A.D. 67--is given further support.  John, writing, probably, in the decade of the 80s some 15-20 years later, well after Peter’s death, has no practical need to suppress the assailant’s name and so names Peter.  John likewise alone tells us the servant’s name was Malchus. 

 

And, somewhat surprisingly, only Luke, the dear physician, mentions the fact of Jesus’ miracle--His last before His resurrection--in healing the ear (Luke 22:51).

 

Perhaps someone else has noted these things regarding the accounts of the incident in the garden, but I have not come across any such, and thought this was worthy of mention.  The smallest details in the Gospel accounts can teach us a great deal.

---Doug Kutilek

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More Wisdom from Vance Havner

being quotations from

 Hope Thou in God (Revell, 1977)

 

“The battle is not won on the parade ground but out in the thick of the fight.” (p. 22)

 

“Most church members show no evidence of a new life.  They love what they always loved, go where they always went, do as they always did.  If one is what he has always been, he is not a Christian, for a Christian is a new creature.” (p. 40)

 

“Everything is built on debt today, and the man who pays cash is viewed as a lingering leftover from another day.  I have no organization, no secretary, no promotion gimmicks, not even brochures.  In the midst of this highly geared world with the labyrinth of publicity machinery, I have run on a shoestring as they say.  But there has been more than I need and always a little extra in the side pocket.”  (p. 42)

 

“A chaplain on Corregidor with Douglas MacArthur once complimented the general for faithful attendance at the services.  The general said, ‘Chaplain, thank God you are not serving an ordinary four-star general of short-lived power and authority.  You are serving that General described in the Book of Revelation who has seven stars, who is alive forevermore, and whose kingdom endures forever.  Never forget that, Chaplain!’ “ (p. 45)

 

“I am thinking about this business of looking for trouble before it happens and dreading what we may never see.  The classic example is found in the women going to the tomb of our Lord wondering who would roll away the stone.  They arrived to find that an angel had already taken care of that!

 

I must confess to a habit of wondering who would roll the stones away only to find that God’s angel had preceded me and solved my problem.  How often have I had to hang my head in shame for my too-little faith!  But I am not the only poor soul who has moved in uneasiness about both past and future.  You too, no doubt, belong to that clan that goes back to make sure you locked the door or lies awake at night doing mentally in advance what turns out to be a small matter when you actually reach it the next day.

 

I have accumulated a formidable list of disasters that never took place.  Baggage that did not get lost, letters that did come although I was certain they wouldn’t, ailments I was sure I had but no doctor could find.  Job mourned that the things he dreaded had come upon him.  I could write a book about things I feared that never happened!” (p. 56)

 

“I want to get home before dark, before some big blunder on the home stretch, some tragic mistake in old age, whether from within or beyond my control, which everyone, forgetful of all the good things of the years before, would remember.  There is no fool like an old fool.  I remember the prayer of one dear saint, ‘Lord, keep me from becoming a wicked old man!’  Christians are saved but never safe so far as witness and example are concerned, never until we reach heaven.” (p. 74)

 

“You cannot run from life by leaving the scenes of sad experiences.  The place to win the victory is here and the time is now.  If we cannot triumph today where we are, we shall not come off conqueror wherever we may go. . . . It is a temptation to hide from life, nursing our sorrow and reading devotional books, but we have business to attend to.” (pp. 75, 76)

 

“God has a plan for our lives.  To us, so much that happens seems to fit nowhere, makes no sense.  The more we try to get things together, the more they fall apart.  It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps or to arrange the pieces of his life.  But because they make no sense to us does not mean that they make no sense.  Because they make no sense now does not mean that they never will make sense.  Because they make no sense to us does not mean they make no sense to God.  It will be a great day for any man when he gathers up all the segments of his life and hands them over to God.  We see through a glass as in a riddle and we see only the pieces and the puzzle.  God sees the picture.” (p. 80)

 

“We are obsessed with the delusion that we must copy the world and stage spectaculars and make the Gospel a form of entertainment.  The early church did not dramatize it, they declared it by life and lip as sons of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom they shone as lights in the world.  They lit up the Roman Empire with their testimony and some of them did it with their burning bodies.” (p. 84)

 

“Theodore Roosevelt . . . never let the boy in him die and [he] explored a South American jungle when he was nearly sixty.  He never recovered from the rigors of that trip but so what--he lived while he was living.” (p. 89)

 

“If we must have signs and wonders, then we belong to the adulterous generation that believes only what the senses will accept.” (p. 96)

 

“If we were really going somewhere by changing over, again and again, to more sophisticated living, we might bear the passing of old joys with some satisfaction, but there is not much exhilaration in merely going faster if mankind does not know where it is going.” (p. 100)

 

“Pastors tell me how churches demand more of one man than most men can do, requiring that he be jack-of-more-trades than ever before; with no time for reflection, in a hectic rat race, so busy doing the wishes of the people that there is scant time to do the will of God.  Unless the average preacher drastically revises his program, he ends up a frustrated church flunkey.” (p. 104)

 

“The average modern man aims at getting in shape for a happy retirement.  If he reaches that age he may be too spent in body and mind to enjoy it.  I resolved early to take my retirement all along lest it never accumulate for old age.  Why not have it in installments now while I have eyes to see and ears to hear, before the years draw nigh when I shall say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’ ?  If my last day should be today, death will not have cheated me out of what I meant to do and never got around to doing.  I’ve been doing it all along! . . . Instead of full-time retirement in an old age you may never reach, why not live in part-time retirement now?  Can’t afford to?  Can you afford not to?  It does not mean quitting what you are doing so much as cultivating a mind and heart at rest so that you can take an inside vacation while you work.  And check how you waste the leisure you do have.  Don’t kill yourself saving up for a day you may never see!”  (pp. 104, 105)

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BOOK REVIEWS

 

Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough.  New York: Simon & Schuster, 1981, 2001.  460 pp., hardback.  $28.00

 

Theodore (“Teddy”) Roosevelt is likely the single most colorful American President (1901-1909) we’ve ever had.  His overflowing exuberance for life, his “can-do” attitude, his utter enjoyment with whatever occupied his attention at the moment were among his hallmarks.  While he is not our most famous president (he, the most recent of the four presidents enshrined on Mount Rushmore, is rightly tucked in behind the faces of Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln), he ranks near the top.  His flamboyance led his daughter Alice Roosevelt Longworth (1884-1980) to comment, “My father always wanted to be the corpse at every funeral, the bride at every wedding and the baby at every christening,” (Quoted in Simpson’s Contemporary Quotations, compiled by James B. Simpson, 1988, p. 212).

 

T.R. was part of a long-resident New York City family of Dutch extraction.  His grandfather was a fourth generation New Yorker, who spoke English in public and Dutch at home.  And the family was exceptionally wealthy--T.R.’s grandfather, in the plate glass business, was one of New York City’s ten wealthiest citizens (a genuine millionaire).  Naturally enough, T. R. and his siblings enjoyed all the privileges of the wealthy--a lavishly furnished large house in the heart of the city, numerous household servants, private tutoring, a summer house out on Long Island and a year-long family “Grand Tour” of Europe and the Mediterranean (during which 11-year old Teddy kept a daily diary and read more than 50 books).  A full winter was spent in Egypt alone.

 

T.R.’s father, Theodore Roosevelt Sr., apparently a genuine and devout Christian (Presbyterian) was a generous philanthropist (taking seriously noblesse oblige), giving much time and money to public causes--hospitals, museums, missions to the down and out--thereby setting a worthy pattern for his namesake son.  Therein were no doubt planted the seeds for T.R.’s reforms as president--proposing legislation to provide safe food and medicine supplies, trust busting, and more.

 

As a child, T.R. was sickly, plagued often by asthma (which in his case had a large psychosomatic element--his attacks seemed to almost always come on Sundays, the one day when such an attack would secure for him the day-long attentions of his father).  Only when he reached adulthood, and undertook his adventures in Dakota Territory as a cattle rancher, did he attain the vigorous health he became famous for.

 

 T.R. always had a great interest in the natural world (part of his insatiable lifelong curiosity about almost everything)--as a boy, he drew first-rate pictures of animals of all sorts--and originally planned a career as a scientist (these bore the fruit of the creation of vast national parks and forests during his presidency).  Even so, he also took great delight in hunting, frequently killing dozens even hundreds of birds (in those pre-bag limit days) in a single outing.  And of course his extended African Safari after retiring from the White House is well-known.

 

In character, he seems to have been committed Christian (as was his father, but apparently not his Southern-native mother, who indirectly, some say, served as the pattern for Margaret Mitchell’s Scarlet O’Hara character in Gone With the Wind).  While at Harvard, he taught a Sunday school class for nearly the whole of his 4 years as a student.

 

T.R. was only 18 when his father died suddenly at the early age of 46.  This was a devastating blow to the young man who had idolized his father.  But in typical fashion, T.R. masked his sorrow with a flurry of activity, rather than emotional release.  His father did leave him $125,000 which generated about $8,000 per year in income, considerably more that the president of Harvard made ($5,000).  T.R. the university student lived in high style.

 

T.R.’s preparation for Harvard involved an immense amount of directed reading (6-8 hours of study per day for an entire summer), besides the vast amount of reading he did anyway.  He had no problem gaining entrance or excelling in his studies, and unlike many a pampered Harvard man, T.R. did not live a debauched, degenerate life while at school, but thoroughly applied himself.  He also met, wooed and won his future first wife while residing in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

 

In his early 20s, T.R. entered politics, and won a seat in the New York legislature, where he soon rose to a position of leadership in the Republican Party.  He served as a delegate at the 1884 Republican national convention in Chicago, and vigorously opposed the nomination of James G. Blaine, who went on to run, and lose, to New Yorker Grover Cleveland.  Young Roosevelt’s convention opposition to Blaine put him in the political doghouse with his party for a time.

 

T.R. married Alice Lee of Boston in 1880.  The genuine bliss of this marriage was shattered in February 1884 when just days after giving birth to a daughter, Alice died of kidney failure, a mere 22 years old.  To compound the blow, T.R.’s mother had died most suddenly of typhoid fever earlier the same day, at 48.  How a man could endure such emotionally devastating loses is hard to imagine.  But T.R. made no public display of grief, rather burying himself in work (he almost never mentioned his deceased wife thereafter, and spoke infrequently about his mother).  As noted, he attended the Republican Convention that summer, and was soon thereafter involved in the adventure of cattle ranching on the Great Plains in Dakota Territory--a final, fleeting glimpse of the Old West before it disappeared forever.

 

T.R.’s western investments and activities--buying both cattle and land, working alongside the cowboys, and engaging in all the work of a ranch hand in all kinds of weather extremes--gratified his love for nature and transformed his frail body into one robust and vigorous. Unlike the popular perception, T.R. did not live continuously “out West” for several years as he tried to ‘sort out things in his life,’ but commuted back and forth by train several times each year, returning regularly to New York.

 

So ends McCullough’s book.  T.R.’s unsuccessful race for mayor of New York City, his service on several government commissions and boards, his famous exploits in Cuba during the Spanish-American War (someone suggested his book about the war, judging from its contents, should have been titled Alone in Cuba!), his brief time as governor of New York, his election as McKinley’s vice-president in 1900 and elevation to the Presidency when only 42, still the youngest ever, upon McKinley’s assassination, and all that his presidency involved were all yet future.  But it was the events of his first 27 years that set the course for the man he would be in the full blossom of his life.

 

McCullough, who also wrote a detailed and first-rate history of T.R.’s greatest building project--the Panama Canal (see my review of The Path Between the Seas in AISI 5:11)--, does his usual excellent work in this volume as well.

---Doug Kutilek

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The Bible Doctrine of Inspiration Explained and Vindicated by Basil Manly, Jr.  Harrisonburg, Va.: Gano Books, 1985 reprint of 1888 edition.  266 pp., hardback.

 

Basil Manly, Jr. (1825-1892) was one of the founding professors of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and served as professor of Old Testament interpretation for two periods: 1859-1871 (with interruption by the War of Northern Aggression) and 1877-1892.  When the seminary was founded, he was requested by the first chairman of the faculty, J. P. Boyce, to write up an abstract of theological principles which were to be binding upon all present and future faculty of that institution.  The present volume was also written at Boyce’s express request, and is the fruit of a quarter century of Manly’s teaching this subject in the seminary classroom.  It is, to my knowledge, the most extended treatment of the doctrine of inspiration by a Southern Baptist writer in the 19th century.

 

It will come as no surprise to thorough students of Baptist history that Manly uniformly and directly defends the orthodox doctrine of the verbal plenary inspiration of Scripture, with its attendant inerrancy and infallibility as originally written, in harmony with the historic views of Baptists generally.  Manly deals with the following topics:

 

The importance of the subject (and it is of utmost importance); what inspiration is and is not; who and what is inspired, and how and when; false theories of inspiration (he describes and refutes such views as partial inspiration, degrees of inspiration, the “genius” view, and dictation) and demonstrates that the written Scripture is both fully Divine and fully human (but without error) as originally written.  He also presents evidences and proofs of inspiration, before addressing objections raised against the orthodox doctrine of verbal plenary inspiration.

 

In light of what Manly, the representative Southern Baptist of the 19th century on this subject, has clearly and unmistakably written, for so-called “moderates” yet lingering in the Southern Baptist Convention to claim that they are not apostates from the historic views of Southern Baptists is either a case of gross historical ignorance on their part or deliberate deception--lying--to conceal their true colors.  And for conservative Southern Baptists to continue to tolerate such “moderates” in there midst (and though in fewer numbers today than in years past, they are still present in some schools and agencies and churches of the SBC) is frankly an act of willful disobedience to the inspired record they profess to hold in highest esteem, which admonishes them to “put away the evil from your midst.”

 

 

Further--the modern KJVO/ perfect preservation view is exposed as alien to the

historic belief of mainstream 19th century Baptists, as Manly, as it were, answers

 

in advance the groundless claims and fabrications of this present misguided

movement.

---Doug Kutilek

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Some quotes from The Bible Doctrine of Inspiration Explained and Vindicated by Basil Manly, Jr. --

 

On the relationship of inspiration and preservation:

 

“The inspiration which we affirm is that of the original text of Scripture, and therefore does not deny that there may be errors in copying.  We have no assurance, nor the slightest reason to suppose, that the supernatural guardianship which insured the correctness of the original record was continued and renewed every time anybody undertook to make a copy of it.  The accuracy of our present copies is a separate question, dependent on the ordinary rules of historical evidence in such matters.  That is what is examined in the science of Textual Criticism.” (p. 82)

 

“There has been indeed a providential guardianship over the Word, by which it has been preserved remarkably incorrupted, and singularly attested as being substantially the same that proceeded from the original writers.  The results of the Herculean labors of modern [textual] critics make it evident that, in about a dozen important passages, and in very many unimportant ones, there is reasonable ground for correcting the commonly received text.  In a number of others, there is room for discussion as to the true reading.  But when all these known errors are corrected, and all those doubtful readings are set aside, it is evident that there is no change as to any leading doctrine or fact of the Gospel.

The difference is somewhat as if out of a bucket of rain-water from the cistern a teaspoonful were taken, and then its place supplied by another teaspoonful of river-water.  The contents of the bucket would be practically unaltered.” (pp. 82-3)

 

On the value of textual criticism--

 

“If it be said, that these are very trifling and insignificant results to be obtained by all the labors of the eminent text critics who have been toiling for centuries,--of Bengel and Griesbach, of Tischendorf and Tregelles, of Westcott and Hort,--we reply that it is no trifle to be assured upon such competent authority, after so painstaking an investigation, that the variations from the originals, or from the manuscript copies nearest to the originals, are so slight.  Thus it is that the plain reader may eat his Gospel bread in peace, undisturbed by the apprehension that chaff or poison may have been somewhere ground up with the wheat.” (p. 83)

 

What about the absurd claims that the Masoretic vowel points were part of the inspired text (a long-disproved claim of late resurrected by KJVOnly partisans) and the claims of inspired translations (of which KJVOism is just one among numerous such claims)?--

“It is objected that some adherents of the strict doctrine of Inspiration used to affirm the absolute immaculateness of modern copies of the Scriptures, Hebrew points and all; and that they were logically bound to do so; that no other ground is consistent or tenable.

 

We do not deny that there have been some wild and unfounded assertions on the subject, just as there is even now, with some ignorant persons, an assumption of infallibility and equality with the original of some particular translation, as the Vulgate, or King James's, or Luther's.  But we are by no means responsible for such statements; and they are by no means implied in our doctrine, as will be shown when we come to consider this topic in our third Part, Objections to Inspiration.” (pp. 83-4; note how he characterizes such claims as “unfounded assertions” and identifies those who make such claims as “ignorant persons”--editor)

 

Does acknowledging and correcting demonstrable errors in the textus receptus weaken or undermine the doctrine of inspiration or the authority of Scripture?--

 

“It is objected, that, if we concede errors in the commonly received text, and the possibility that still other passages are now doubtful and may be found erroneous, this concession weakens greatly the argument for infallible inspiration.  ‘Why so strenuous for exact inspiration of the words, when you admit there may have been errors of transcription?  What do you gain?’

 

We answer, we gain all the difference there is between an inspired and an uninspired original; all the difference between a document truly divine and authoritative to begin with--though the copies or translations may have in minute particulars varied from it--and a document faulty and unreliable at the outset, and never really divine.” (p. 84)

 

“It is objected, that, with all the researches of Textual Criticism, it is not possible in all cases to be certain what was the original text.  Hence it is alleged, that, even if the original was infallible, our present text is not; that plenary inspiration, were it granted, would be useless and unmeaning, if the writings were not preserved miraculously and absolutely (as they evidently have not been) from the accidents of time and careless copying; and that it is not probable that God would supernaturally confer complete accuracy and authority, if the documents were then to be left to the usual possibilities of error in transmission to future ages.  To these objections we reply--

 

a. The facts present a valid argument against the unfounded claim that was once made, that every letter, syllable, and even every vowel-point and accent of our present received copies of the Bible, must be regarded as inspired.  But they do not affect our doctrine, for we make no such claim.  The inspiration of the original Scriptures is what we affirm; and this is an entirely different question from the accuracy with which copies of them have been preserved.  It is now well known that the Hebrew vowel-points are of later origin than the Christian era (probably about the fifth or sixth century), and can only be regarded as representing the carefully preserved, but not authoritative, tradition as to the pronunciation, while the consonants alone form the ancient text.  Also it is thoroughly understood that the manuscripts both of the Old and New Testament have been subject to the defects necessarily incident to the most careful copying.  What we affirm is, that the Sacred Scriptures, as they came from their respective authors, had the characteristics of accuracy and authority, as messages from God.

 

b. The Scriptures, though subject to the necessary perils of transcription, were specially protected, not only by a general providential guardianship, which it is fair to assume and which history confirms, but by several favoring circumstances of no small importance.  Among these are--the reverence with which from the beginning they were regarded, occasioning more frequent copying than in the case of any other book in the world, and more careful and affectionate effort to be accurate; the number of manuscripts, which naturally increases the number of various readings to be noted, but also greatly increases the opportunity of detecting errors, and arriving with much confidence at the original text; the publicity of these documents by their being read repeatedly and reverently in worship, which also tended to insure the discovery and correction of errors; the numerous translations, early and late, which called attention to the minutiae of their language and expression; the habit of delivering discourses based on them, and of making extensive quotations from them, in speaking and writing; the elaborate expositions and commentaries, the harmonies and comparisons of parallel passages, and even the searches, friendly and hostile, after discrepancies and difficulties, beginning at an early period, and kept up with unwearied perseverance and microscopic minuteness; the wide diffusion of copies in different lands, and often in the hostile custody of warring sects, prompt to detect and eager to expose any falsification or corruption.  All these circumstances have tended to secure in a very high degree substantial accuracy and purity in the transmission of copies of the sacred writings.

 

c. The limits of error, within which we are practically sure of our ground, may be very confidently fixed, and leave little opportunity of mistake as to the teaching of Scripture in regard to any fact, or doctrine, or precept.  This is especially true of those parts of the Bible on which faith and duty chiefly rest.  If there are ‘textual uncertainties,’ as we frankly admit, there are also textual certainties; and these are ample enough for guidance through the snares of earth and to the glories of heaven.” (pp. 220-222; Manly’s view of the providential preservation of Scripture is typical of the views of informed conservative scholars of the 19th and 20th,

 centuries, some of which we have published in earlier issues of AISI--among them the views of Burgon, Dagg, Scrivener and Dabney--, and avoids the man-made doctrine of infallible preservation, which has no basis in Scripture, and is discredited by the evidence and facts of manuscripts--editor)

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Fundamentalism vs. KJVOism

 

“Honesty compels us to cite the 1901 American Revised as the best English Version of the original languages which places us in a position 290 years ahead of those who are still weighing the King James of 1611 for demerits”

 

Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters

The Great Conservative Baptist Compromise

Minneapolis: Central Seminary Press, ca. 1967

p. 192

 

“We know of no Fundamentalists . . . that claim that the King James as the best English translation.  Those in the mainstream of Fundamentalism all claim the American Revised of 1901 as the best English translation.”

Ibid, p. 199

 

“It is not correct, therefore, to suggest that one is more of a fundamentalist if he believes in the King James Only theory.  He is actually less of a fundamentalist.”

 

Dr. Larry Pettegrew

The Bible Version Debate:

The Perspective of Central Baptist Theological Seminary

Minneapolis: Central Baptist Seminary, 1997.

p. 13

 

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