Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Being a Bible believer

(Continuation of James White critique)

God preserves His word, He is the Author and man is the pen. Man is always the tool that God uses, both in inspiration and preservation. The Psalms say "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." The Lord is the preserver, not man. How can one say that Bible translation is only human effort and cannot be infallible? Was not Luke's original record written in Greek infallible even though he was recording Paul's words spoken in Hebrew (Acts 21:40-22:21)? Was not the apostle Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost infallbile even though it was given to him by the Holy Spirit in Greek while the audience heard it in multiple languages (Acts 2:4-11)? 

Did not the Lord say that He would send scribes and prophets to the Jews?

Matthew 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:

Prophets speak and write the word of God and scribes copy the word of God. God appointed these people in His church so that His word would be made available. In the early churches of the Gentiles God gave spiritual gifts to man until His word was complete (1 Cor. 13:8-12). The word of God was given to the Gentile churches...

1 Corinthians 14:36-37 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

Paul was the apostle of the Gentiles and under his ministry the word of God went to all nations...

Romans 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

Romans 15:15-16 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

Romans 16:25-26 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:  

Paul said that three things were commanded by God to be made known to all nations

#1 "my gospel"
#2 "the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery" 
#3 "the scriptures of the prophets"

Were those things made known to all nations? Did all the languages of the known world receive the gospel, the preaching of Christ, and the scriptures of the prophets? They certainly did.

Colossians 1:5-6 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:

Colossians 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

2 Timothy 4:17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

God commanded for the word of God to go to all nations and it did. Therefore we know that God was putting His word in other languages, He would not command something that was impossible! 

The word of God is not bound to any one city, region, religious organization, or language. Paul said "Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound."  

The eternal word of God, inseparable from the Holy Spirit's person and work, will never be quenched by man. It seems that folks such as James White (KJV Controversy) would have us believe that man has corrupted the word of God to the point where we can no longer have the words of God bound in one volume. Mr. White seems to believe that we can no longer give a lost sinner a copy of the word of God without worrying about the human errors that have stained its pages. I hear Mr. White talk a lot about church history, quotes from man, and the 'science' of 'textual criticism, but I rarely hear him teach from the Scriptures about the Scriptures. I am not interested in Origen, Jerome, Erasmus, Wescott, or Hort. For if God truely has preserved His Holy Scriptures perfectly to this day, then we do not need to look at the 'evidence' of ages past. If God has preserved His word for every generation, then we should not be looking to past generations for the word of God. Why would God preserve His words to every generation if we must look at the "originals" to confirm our preserved copies? Would not preservation be pointless if it must be confirmed with ancient copies? I refuse to accept the 'scholarship' of textual criticism over what the Scriptures say about themselves.

The Holy Scriptures are pure, which is why God's servants love it. If the Bible were not pure, we would have no reason to love it or fear it. 

Psalms 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Psalms 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

Psalms 119:140 Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.

Psalms 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

2 Timothy 3:15-16 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

James White's textual criticism destroys the doctrine of trusting the word of God and not church history. I fear that James White's teachings demands that we receive the word of God as the word of men. If we doubt what the Bible says and seek to study history and archaeology in order to find out how pure our Bible is, does that not put us in the same category with unbelievers and atheists who try to use history and archaeology (science falsely so called--1 Tim. 6:20) to disprove the word of God? What does the Bible say about what to trust?

Psalms 119:41-42 Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word. So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word.   

Psalms 146:3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe

Psalms 118:8-9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.

1 Corinthians 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

The Lord told us how to worship Him, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24) What did Christ mean when He said to worship the Father in "spirit" and in "truth"? The Gospel of John reveals exactly what He was referring to...

"spirit": It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63)

"truth": Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

That is how we are to worship God, according to His word. Believing the word of God is a way of worshiping God. The apostle Paul wrote,   

Acts 24:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:

The issue is, do we have God's Holy Scriptures today in 2015 just as they were when the last book of the Bible was written? The answer is certainly yes!

Joshua 1:8 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 according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Deuteronomy 17:
[14] When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;
[15] Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.
[16] But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.
[17] Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
[18] And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:
[19] And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them

Isaiah 30:8 Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.  

Isaiah 59:21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.  

Psalms 12:
[6] The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
[7] Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Psalms 33:11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

Psalms 105:7-8 He is the LORD our God: his judgments are in all the earth. He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.

Psalms 100:5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Psalms 117:2 For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.

Psalms 111:
[7] The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure.
[8] They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.
[9] He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.

Psalms 119:89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

Psalms 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

Matthew 5:17-18 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 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.

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Luke 21:33  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

John 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day

Luke 16:17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.

Ecclesiastes 3:14  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

These are all Scriptures that I never hear James White refer to. Sometimes he will profess to be a "believing textual critic" and that he "does believe God has preserved His word", but he only professes these things in a general sense. He will not pin point "all authority" as the apostle Paul did (Titus 1:9, 2:15). Paul said to HOLDfast the faithful word and to rebuke with "all authority". James White has never professed to hold the word of God as being "all authority". He believes that the word of God is scattered among thousands of little pieces of paper among a dozen different languages that scholars must search and compile for us so that we can find out what words are pure and which ones are not. 

James White does not believe in an inspired "Bible" (bible means 'book'). James White will profess to believe that "the Bible is inspired", but if you reply, "then could I see that book?" he would not have anything to give you. In fact, you would find out that he really was not referring to a book at all, he was referring to scraps of individual manuscripts that he compiles and compares then decides which words he believes belong in the text based on his own search for 'evidence'. 

Be a Bible believer.

--Eli Caldwell

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