December 16, 2008
Verbal Plenary Preservation?
There is a controversy out there that exists in many circles. The person who asked the question this time did not want their e-mail shared, but was amenable to the topic being addressed publicly.
I think any True Christian understands the Verbal Plenary Inspiration of the Scriptures. That -all- the Words of God were inspired by the Holy Spirit. But there are also many who believe the written text of Scripture also, often specifically in the form of the KJV, is also "preserved" verbally, plenarily. Many from the KJ-only camp fit into this category. But apparently there are also others. The summary of two positions was given:
They teach that God preserved every jot & tittle in the Masoretic Texts and Textus Receptus underlying the KJV and has perfectly preserved the copied manuscripts (Apographs) of the Original Texts (Autographs).
They are not saying that KJV is the prefect bible but most faithful in translation. And God in His Power preserved the His Words perfect in the underlying manuscripts used by the King James translators in numbers and historical records. Thus this stand is declared doctrinal now. They have been called Ruckmanists, a label I think, incorrectly pinned on them
does God preserved His Word for us in totality without mistakes in underlying manuscripts from Hebrew Masoretic Texts & Greek Textus Receptus on which KJV was based?
What I agree with is what is called Verbal Plenary Inspiration. Verbal (spoken words) Plenaray (complete in all respects, unlimited or full) Inspiration...
"All Scripture is BREATHED (INSPIRED) BY GOD, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2Tim3:16-17)
In John Jesus repeats over and over, "These things I have -spoken- to you" (Jn14:25, etc) or "I -say- unto you" (4Gospels) And John closes by saying that he had written down merely a miniscule percentage of everything Jesus did and said. (Jn21:24-25) When Jehoiakim tore up the scroll Jeremiah had dictated, God had him write another, and it says "And many words like them were added to them" (Jer36:32)
I believe that God's Word, originally given through His prophets, was verbally inspired and without error of any sort. Many things the prophets -spoke- were also written down. Many of those things became part of the canon of written Scripture. Others did not. Insofar as any copyists were NOT the prophets who uttered the original words, there is always potential for 'human error'. When the prophet himself wrote down the words, one would think he knew what he had spoken, and his originals (the 'autographs') would have been without error. But where a scribe wrote down someone else's words, there is no such thing as a perfect human, no matter how intentionally careful he is.
And also, through time, things happen to manuscripts....and so the scholars patch the pieces together.
However....having gone through to compile the VW-edition as I have; I was not working from any sort of 'original' manuscripts. Those no longer exist. I relied on the compilations and tools the scholars (who know a way lot more than I do) put together. I must say that, indeed, there were some places here and there where some serious head-scratching was involved. But I can also attest that none of those questionable places involved any sort of questions related to God's wrath over sin, His love in sending Jesus to die for the sinner...nor -ANY- of the important doctrines regarding repentance, faith, judgment or of obtaining Eternal Life. For any of those things, there is no hint (not a smidgen!) of any sort of question, anywhere, as to what Truth might be. And to that degree, indeed, God has seen to "preservation"....even in the written manuscripts.
But due to some passages where there are legitimate questions, I am not so brash on the "Plenary" part of 'preservation' of the -written- Word. God's Word was -spoken-, and in that form was totally without error; and God -remembers- what He spoke; so when He fulfills His Word, He fulfills what He -spoke-.
Some of those who believe the VPP doctrine also believe that, where there were questions, and subsequently the KJV differs from the manuscripts, that the KJV "corrects" the manuscripts FROM WHICH IT COMES. I mean....even think of the 'logic' of such a statement! However, in that manner, many of them also believe in KJV "-Translational- Inspiration". That the KJV is "inspired" even above the manuscripts from which it comes.... forget, even, the -spoken- words from which those manuscripts came. Thus, one would be left to deduce that they believe the KJV translators (the scholars of the church of Babylon) to be, even, above the original prophets!
Who has the greater honor, the house or the builder? (Heb3:3) Thus, also, wherein is the inspiration? The original words uttered, or many copies and translations, down-the-line, millennia later?
However...the fact that we have what we do have, in spite of attempts throughout history to destroy God's Word, I believe is a testament to God's sovereignty in preservation. I haven't heard of -any- other human document, whose tradition goes back as far as the Scriptures, that has been preserved to -nearly- the degree as God's Word. And even most of the purposely perverted translations, if a person's heart is truly seeking God.... they can learn of Eternal Life even through a perversion... such is God's sovereignty in making His Word known to the heart of man.
God's Word is "living and powerful" and goes into the heart of man. (Heb4:12) God's Word "stands firm -IN-THE-HEAVENS-" (Ps119:89) And I suspect, whatever God utters, the angels who hear it also -remember- it. Whatever God proclaims, He fulfills...
Jesus spoke of the fulfillment of every "jot and tittle". Naturally, the originals (autographs) have the correct -everything- regarding jots, tittles, commas, periods, etc. Jesus did not say He was fulfilling something written in a corrupt manuscript. But even -spoken- language, when written down correctly, is represented with specific punctuation. That which God -spoke-, and was given in the Law (as Moses was warned to be exact, to the pattern of things in Heaven Heb8:5), is that which Jesus fulfilled, and is that which will yet be fulfilled prophetically.
Jesus did not fulfill the perverted traditions of the scribes and pharisees. (Mt15:3) Prophecy will not be fulfilled in our future according to the whims and wishes of the apostasy. Nor will entrance into the Glories of Heaven be predicated on the perversions of God's Word, and man's wishful thinking and "arguments of what is falsely called knowledge" (1Ti6:20) What God -said- is how it's going down.