Thursday, May 21, 2015

A new look at an old Word: preface


 Preface

As we look into this study, I must tell you where I come from as far as my position to 
the debate. When I grew up I had some, though not extensive contact with fundamental
Independent Baptist on my father's side of the family, and summer Bible camp growing up.
Yet I was not a member of an independent Baptist church.  Growing up I was exposed to
several passages of the KJV. I found them good and everything but was not very Bible literate and as a result did not get into the Bible very much. Years later, as a teenager, I
was ok with KJV, yet I was still intimidated. The church I was going to used the NIV, so I
read from that.  It would be my first read "cover to cover".  A few years later I was a freshman in college and I felt God's call for me to enter into full-time Christian service. I knew then that I would have to become Bible Literate. I was decently knowledgeable from years of church and Bible courses recently but I was about to read the Bible completely through, for myself.   I started with an NIV teen study Bible. It took me five months the next time I read from multiple versions and it took five years.
   I said all that to say this, I do believe that God can use multiple Bible translations to do his work in the world. I believe that these Bibles can usually be used to help bring a lost sinner to Christ.   My purpose in this book is not to beat every evangelical over the
head that doesn't possess the Authorized King James Version of the Bible.
   My goal is to make sure that every born again Christian is provided a copy of the
true preserved Word of God. They need to have this in order to truly have a "personal
relationship with God". In order for this to happen, the believer must pray directly to God
for guidance and receive his absolute Word back.  When the common language Bible is
not trusted as the Word of God, then other' authorities rise up and take over. It is the duty
of the minister not to over take the sheep, but to guide them to Jesus. They can't come to
Jesus, if they aren't able to do so by themselves. Therefore, all regenerate members ought
to have equal access to God's Word. The first place for that formula is faithful
translation.

             How should we handle God's Word?

When a person goes to a Christian bookstore they will notice dozens of Bibles and Bible translations for sale. Many of them are leather bound and say "Holy Bible;' others don't and may be in paperback. I noticed in the last decade or so copies of the New Testament written in the guise of teen magazines. Magazines are many times bendable and are often thrown away when one is done unless there is cause to keep it. Also these NT magazines are covered in pictures and captions that have nothing to do with the New testament and everything to do with teen pop culture.

Obviously some are treating the Bible less seriously than others. Now this may not be the biggest deal because we believe that the words of the Bible are holy and sacred,
not the paper itself. The problem is that words in the Holy Bible are being treated just as
loosely as the physical binding. God's Word is no longer treated as an immutable

foundation, if it is no longer treated as an immovable rock, can it still be believed to

be that?

  When the scribes and scholars went about the process of copying and translating the bible, they were handling God's Word.  When one is doing this process, whether or not they recognize this makes a difference. Some have gone about this process believing that they were merely copying the time-honored stories of the Jewish people. Others believed that these in
fact were the very words of the Lord God through the prophets. Maybe in a perfect world
the effort would be the same, however in reality the differences are huge.  Imagine that one was a limousine driver, there would be a different way of taking the president of the United States across town than perhaps taking teenagers to the prom. The teenagers would simply be honored just to be there. While with transporting the president, it's the other way around.   
     In fact it could not simply be just any limousine,
It would have to have special steel reinforcement to make it bullet proof. They would also have to make sure that everything with both the driving and luxury was in peak condition.  The cargo is a big deal especially if we are dealing with the Words of the one true living God. We see this with the first manuscript of God's Word, which were kept in the Ark of the Covenant.:
Exo.25:21 And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou
shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.
Deu.l0:5·And I turned myself and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the
ark which I had made; and there they be, as the LORD commanded me.
Deu.31 :2 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of
the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.
Exo. 40:20 And he took and put the testimony into the ark, and set the staves on the ark,
and put the mercy seat above upon the ark:
1 Ki.8:9 There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there
at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came
out of the land of Egypt.
Unbelievers who misused God's Word were cursed
1 Sam 5:9 And it was so, that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the LORD was
against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small
and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts.
1 Sam 6:19 And he smote the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of
the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and
the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great
slaughter.
Even Believers who handled the Word of the Lord unbiblically were cursed
l Ch. l3:9 And when they came unto the threshing floor of Chi don, Uzza put forth his
hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled.
1Ch.l3:10 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him,
because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.
1Ch. 13:11 And David was displeased, because the Lord had made a breach upon Uzza: wherefore that place is called Perez-uzza to this day. "
  Only the Levites were supposed to carry the ark of the covenant.  Uzza died for David's error.
Obviously mishandling the Word of God must be treated differently than other
writings. Over the last two or three hundred years we have shifted our treatment of
God's Word. When we go about trying to figure out what the original word of God is we
have let non-believing experts try to figure out and determine what the word of God
truly is for the last two centuries.
We have let them determine history in an unbiblical paradigm (Evolutionary
naturalism). Determine the origin of scripture from this philosophy. Rewrite the history
of the Bible. Search for as much difference in the manuscripts as possible. Then use
their unregenerate minds to determine what God's word is. Finally, we have moved on to
let them figure out how it ought to be presented.
Key to all of this is the idea that the Bible is presented to us naturally. However,
those of us who believe the Bible know that it was a work of God and not just a work of
man.  If the Bible truly is a work of God and not simply the writings of men, then
shouldn't it be treated differently? How so? For this we will look in our next chapter.
  One question that is constantly debated through this whole issue is: Did God
preserve his words perfectly?  Though I will show that this is a consistent teaching from scripture, oddly enough the vast majority of evangelical scholarship rejects this idea. For the believer, this doctrine is an awesome assurance that there is a Bible which you can rely on just as much as the originals.
  The reason l believe this is, that the evangelical scholar knows that if this were true, then they would have to defend every verse of their Bibles. Plus, there would be less
money to make on their translations. Sure they may come out with study Bibles and new
translations of the traditional king James Version text.  Yet not nearly as much as the billions that are being made from all the various alternative translations today.
   But when it comes to the spiritual walk of a believer this doctrine is fundamental.
I remember my freshman year of college I had grown closer to God and decided to go
into ministry. One day I had been part of a campus ministry and met a young, Brazilian
student there. When the subject came up about Christ, he quickly fired back that our
Bibles were made up and the real Bible was kept with the Catholic Church in the Vatican.
Then he made a quick exit, before I could respond in full.
   I also remember personally when I had first been indoctrinated with the teaching
that passages like the sixteenth chapter of Mark were not in the original manuscripts. It was
definitely a tough blow, but it only  grew worse. After reading constantly for the next year
through the Bible with all these hundreds if not thousands of footnotes saying that this or
that may not be in the original manuscripts. I could never fully depend on the Bible as I
would have liked to.
   The believer can no longer fully rely on God's word.  They have to occasionally
submit to the authority of the scholar. I can recall a time in my first year at Bible
college, we would have non-stop spiritual discussions.  A
student there had started growing very legalistic. A fellow student brought up Jesus' forgiveness of the woman caught in adultery. The student fired back "That wasn't in the original manuscripts!" This Student grew more legalistic. When "evangelizing" he would go downtown and chew out drunken, homeless people, telling them how they didn't deserve God's grace. The drunks fired back that he shouldn't judge them so harshly. The student retorted that he wouldn't cast his pearls before swine. He eventually became very arrogant chewed out the faculty of the Bible College and quit. He actually started out with potential. But since he didn't fully rely on God's word, he wouldn't be corrected and was ruined.
Losing foundations on God's Word is always catastrophic. One either becomes
a slave to other forces or goes into chaos. Here is the purpose of this book: that we not
lose our grasp of the scriptures, so that we will not be ruined.
    Writing this book has been a labor of love and a lesson in humility.  I finished the rough draft pretty early in 2010.  However, I had it saved on a 3.5 inch disk and the technology had just past me by. Then I had a friend save the manuscript on adobe format, the problem of which is that the adobe format is not for rough draft and it does not allow for alteration.  The only way out would permanently scramble the manuscripts.  On top of that, my paper manuscript was in the trunk of my car during a local flood! From all these shambles I would have to slowly piece together the manuscripts all the while moving forward with other agendas, blogs, internet radio, youtube, local church ministry and odd jobs. I have had to struggle to persevere as much as this book. But on the bright side I have also revised the text.  The New Evangelical movement was not at place where it was ready to listen to this message, but now fidelity to God's Word is needed more than ever as the fruits of this modernized philosophy have failed to overcome the world but instead submitted be
-grudgingly to it. Yet Just as God has preserved this manuscript he can preserve His People!

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