Beloved brothers and sisters without faith it is impossible to please God. That faith is centered upon Jesus Christ, His love for us, the glory of His Holy inspired, infallible, inerrant, preserved Word, and confidence that He has provided for us all that we need for this life of faith and godly living. We see many such statements and promises throughout the Scriptures.
Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ: (2) Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, (3) According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (4) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2Peter 1:1-4
So our very life of faith is built upon the truth of the Holy Scriptures, for without them we cannot know the great and precious promises, or have confidence in Jesus Christ as He is revealed to us in His Holy Book. This is extremely serious business, because of the proliferation of modern versions of the Bible based upon corrupt and counterfeit Greek manuscripts. With the proliferation of these modern versions has come the declination of genuine faith and godliness, for if we can’t trust what God has said, then how can we truly know the truth? Many have had their faith shipwrecked by neglecting the revelation given to us by God that He has promised to preserve His Word. They have embraced the false teaching of the naturalistic method of studying the manuscripts of the Bible, whereby they regard the Holy Word of God as if it were any other ancient text. Many have perished on the rocky shoals of this egregious error that has begotten so much unbelief within the visible church. The men who worked on the translation of the King James Version, by contrast were men of faith, great learning, and exceptional skill. They accepted the Received Text as the preserved Word of God and worked to translate it into English so that all could read the Scriptures because they believed in the virtue and power of God’s Holy Word. All who belong to Jesus Christ through faith in Him have this as their testimony, which is broadcast through the apostle Peter in 2 Peter chapter one.
Moreover, I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. (16) For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. (17) For He received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (18) And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount. (19) We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (20) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (21) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Peter 1:15-21
Here Peter extolls the Scriptures as those that are given to us by the Holy Spirit and shine as a light in a dark place raising up the truth about Jesus Christ in our minds and hearts. Peter, by the power of the Holy Spirit, promises to make written copies of the Scripture that God has given him available for those who love Jesus Christ. If Peter did not have such confidence in the power of God to preserve His Word would he make such a declaration?
So those who attack the veracity and sufficiency of Scripture do so because they are unbelievers, even though they may hold learned titles in the visible church. I am reminded of a protégé of Bruce Metzger, Bart Ehrman, who started out with faith in Christ, albeit weak, who now denies the truth about our Lord and God and delights to present his unbelief to others so that he can spoil their faith also. Bruce Metzger, an editor of the Nestle/Aland Greek New Testament Text worked on the Reader’s Digest Bible, which was horribly mutilated translation of the Bible under his profane guidance. Are we going to believe what God has told us that He has promised to preserve His Word, or are we going to bow the knee to profane scholarship that informs us that we don’t have God’s Word and don’t really know the actual Words of Jesus Christ? It all comes down to whether or not one is filled with the Holy Spirit through regenerating faith in Jesus Christ, this faith will usher in the God given confidence that we have extant, at our fingertips now the inspired, infallible, inerrant, preserved Word of God in the King James Version translated from the Received Text taken from the Majority of the Greek New Testament manuscripts.
Here are some facts to help us to see the difference between the manuscripts used by unbelievers and the Received Text relied upon by champions of the faith.
The Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, upon which the modern versions are based, diverge from each other in over 3000 places in the gospels alone, and these are not minor copyist errors but additions, deletions and words changed. So they disagree with each other more than they agree with each other and they are definitely at variance with the Majority Text. When it comes to the Majority Text the agreement between the manuscripts is so pervasive that Hort had to come up with his genealogy and recession and conflation theories to try to explain away the cohesiveness of the texts and the great number of manuscripts for the Majority text. Biblical scholars today agree that his theories have no merit whatsoever. The reason why Westcott and Hort choose the “Alexandrian” text over the Majority Text was because Hort had a deep seated hatred of the Received Text which he expressed at a very early age, even before he began his work.
The Alexandrian manuscripts, of which the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus are both examples, come from an area known for its error. Clement of Alexandria (155-200), a heretic within the visible church, had a tremendous influence in the corruption of the Scriptures because of his apostasy from the truth. His protégé, Origin, also from Alexandria, (185-254), had a team of scribes who were supposed to “correct” the manuscripts. Origin is the father of much of the corruption that has dogged the true church through the ages. However, the Scriptures that were from the Byzantine area visited by Paul and the other apostles were the Autographs, or faithful copies of the epistles, and fountainhead of the Received Text. This is what Tertullian had to say in defense of the truth against the work of apostates.
,Tertullian (160-221) said the following in 208 in answer to the heretics:
“Run over to the apostolic churches, in which the very thrones of the apostles are still preeminent in their places, in which their own authentic writings are read. Achaia is very near you, in which you find Corinth. Since you are not far from Macedonia you have Philippi…And the Thessalonians. Since you are able to cross to Asia, you get Ephesus. Since, moreover, you are close upon Italy, you have Rome, from which there comes even into our own hands the very authority of the apostles themselves.” Dr.Moorman, Jack, Forever Settled, 1999
The paucity of manuscript evidence for those manuscripts that deviate from the Majority text proves they were rejected by early Christians who held onto the Traditional text and had it translated into the Old Latin Version, when Greek was no longer being spoken. This version of the New Testament Scriptures was used by believers throughout Africa, Europe, and Italy and was the version held onto by the Waldenses, fiercely persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church, as opposed to the Latin Vulgate.
The Traditional Text has multiple witnesses through the cursive manuscripts copied from the uncials in the 9th century. Of the 2764 cursive manuscripts most are of the Traditional text, while only a small fraction, about 22 agree with the other text types (Alexandrian and Western). This fact bears testimony to the preservation of the Word of God through the Received Text, and the rejection of the counterfeit manuscripts by believers through the ages.
Throughout the visible church are those who call into question whether or not we have God’s Word available for us today. They have perpetrated much harm and grievous mischief within the visible church and throughout the world. The throwing off of the Received Text and accepting as likely genuine the counterfeit manuscripts has ushered in widespread unbelief and with it the perplexing panoply of perversion that is assaulting our modern era. If we want to stand firm in this age of apostasy we must hold fast the truth of God’s Word and know for sure that He has preserved His Word for His church throughout the ages in the Received Text and faithfully, providentially translated for us in the King James Version.
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 works also in you that believe. 1Thessalonians 2:13
Lord Jesus Christ may we by Your grace stand fast upon Your Word of truth for Your praise, glory and our mutual edification. Amen
Please visit this blog for more information about Textual Criticism. Philip has an excellent series on this topic taught from a position of faith. Amen!