Inerrancy and its Implications for Authority: Textual Critical Considerations in Formulating an Evangelical Doctrine of Scripture

In recent scholarship there has been an attempt to undermine and even reverse the historical and fundamental doctrine of inerrancy. Most of the issues brought up by modern scholarship can be answered by applying proper hermeneutics. Issues of contradiction, misquotation, harmony, chronology, and even the scientific and mathematical assertions of Scripture can all be brought to light through correctly viewing it in its appropriate context. Scripture is never in contradiction with itself, and is never in contradiction with fact. Such an accusation is a complete reversal of the character of God. However, that is not to say that the inerrancy view is without difficulty. The difficulty doesn’t lie so much in the specific issues of harmonizing one passage with another, or one assertion with known science. The issue, and inerrancy’s biggest struggle, comes in the very foundation of its premise that the Bible is inerrant “only in the original manuscripts.” This premise raises several textual critical issues as well as questions of authority.

The Problem

First, the original manuscripts are not accessible today. If the scriptures derive their authority from their inspiration and inerrancy, then only the original manuscripts carry any authority, for the copies we have now are neither inspired nor inerrant. This forces the conclusion that every Bible believing Christian places his faith in an authority that doesn’t exist. If the inerrantist is to argue for any sort of biblical authority, then he must expand his definition of inerrancy to include the entire “Phenomena of Scripture” as defined by John Brogan. [1] That is, the 2000+ years of composition, duplication, transmission, corruption, and restoration. If we are to argue that our Bibles today are authoritative, then we must take all of Scripture’s history into consideration in our formulation of an Evangelical doctrine of Scripture.

One way that modern scholars have tried to do this is by “loosening” the doctrine of inerrancy to not be so rigid and allow for errors. They claim that it is not God’s intention to write an inerrant text, but rather to deliver a message that carries authority. And consequentially it is the message that is authoritative not the words and we can thus still view our Bibles today as authoritative They concede that God may have erred in the composition of His Word. The major problem with this is that one cannot separate the message from the words that carry it. If the words are flawed, then how can the message remain in tact? That this is even an option for an Evangelical is greatly disturbing, for, to submit to this view is to deconstruct the very character of God. [2]

The second problem with the inerrancy view is that it does not explain the complex process of origin. When doing textual criticism of the New Testament it is fairly easy to narrow down what the originals said because the earlier the manuscript the less textual variants there are. Once we examine enough early manuscripts we can confidently determine what the originals said. But this is not so with the Old Testament. The earlier the OT manuscripts, the more textual variants there are. It wasn’t until the Proto-Masoretic Text was circulated that the manuscripts and copies began to unify. [3] So in the case of the Old Testament, we have no idea what the “original” autograph said. The P-MT was the authoritative “original” of the Old Testament to the first century and beyond. That was the accepted text and nobody sought to find the “text behind the text.” Prior to that there were several vulgar texts in circulation that were considered the original. But even if we consider the P-MT as the original, there was still ambiguity within certain books. For example, there were at least two versions of Jeremiah in circulation that were considered authoritative. One version can be found in the MT and the other can be found in the text behind the LXX translation of Jeremiah. The text behind the LXX is older and not as developed, this in our critical text conception, would likely be the “original” autograph. Are we to say then that the version in the MT is not the authoritative version even though it is the version that we find in our Bibles today? So which one is the original? The MT text? Or the text behind the LXX which we do not even have a copy of in its original language (all we have is a translation of it in Greek made hundreds of years after it was supposedly in circulation). Not to mention the complex process of composition, most books included several modified versions; Often times dictated by the author to an amanuensis, then revised by an editor several times, then finally put into circulation as the authoritative copy. So which one of those would be considered the original?

The premise that inerrancy is based on the “the original manuscripts” poses several problems because 1) we don’t have the originals, and 2) we don’t even know what the originals would be if we did have them. With these two major problems left unanswered how can we look to our Bibles today as the authoritative Word of God? I believe that we can indeed look to the Scriptures as our final authority as God’s Word. There are answers to those very difficult questions... it is just a matter of finding them.

The Existence of the Original Autograph of the New Testament

That the original autographs are not known to exist poses a major problem for the inerrantist. Not having access to what the originals said brings into question every version and copy that we have today. However, I agree with C. Marvin Pate in the conclusion that we do indeed have access to what the originals said. It is just a matter of sorting it out through textual criticism.4 We have over 5000 Greek manuscripts of early copies of the New Testament, several ancient versions of the New Testament, and numerous quotations of New and Old Testament texts by early church fathers. With the resources we have today, we can indeed determine exactly what the originals said.

Some of the more important manuscripts are p45, which is a papyrus containing portions of all four Gospels and Acts dating back to about A.D. 250. P46 is a papyrus dating back to A.D. 200 that includes 10 of Paul’s epistles in their entirety except for Romans and 1 & 2 Thessalonians. P52 is the oldest portion of the New Testament known to be in existence today. It dates back to the early part of the 2nd century (Around A.D. 120) and includes only a few verses from the Gospel of John. Other important papyri include p47 (A.D. 250), p66 (A.D. 200), p72 (A.D. 200-300), and p75 (A.D. 175-225). Some important Uncial manuscripts are ? (codex Sinaiticus) which contains fragments of the OT and an entire copy of the Greek NT, which dates back to the 4th century. A (codex Alexandraninus) dating back to the 5th century, B (codex Vaticanus) dating to the 4th century, and W (codex W) dated to the 4th or 5th century are all manuscripts that have been very helpful in determining the original writings. [5]

In addition to the above-mentioned manuscripts as well as about 5000 others not mentioned, we have several ancient translations of the Bible. These are versions of the Bible that were translated from the original Greek into an ancient spoken language. Among these we have 5 Syriac versions (The Old Syriac, the Peshitta, the Philoxenian, the Harclean, and the Palestinian Syriac version). [6] We also have Latin versions, Coptic, Armenian, Georgian, and Ethiopic versions. Most of which date back to the 6th century or earlier. Obviously these are incredibly helpful in doing textual criticism, though nothing conclusive can be determined from them since they are only translations.

Besides the many Greek manuscripts and ancient versions of the New Testament, we also have an extensive amount of New and Old Testament quotations found in the writings, sermons, and commentaries of the early church fathers.

Indeed, so extensive are these citations that if all other sources for our knowledge of the text of the New Testament were destroyed, they would be sufficient alone for the reconstruction of practically the entire New Testament. [7] The citations we have date back to even the 1st century with Clement of Rome. Some of the other church Fathers who have quoted the text in their writings are: Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 212), Clement of Rome (Late 1st century to early 2nd century) [8], Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage (A.D. 258), Hippolytus of Rome (A.D. 235), Irenaeus Bishop of Lyons (A.D. 202), Justin Martyr (A.D. 165), Marcion (A.D. 150-60), Origen of Alexandria (A.D. 253 or 254), Tatian (A.D. 170), and Tertullian of Carthage (A.D. 220). [9]

These early writers were so close to the time of the original composition that they may very well have seen the original writings themselves and are quoting them (or at least one of the first copies of them). It can be said that though the actual original autographs may not be in existence today, the content, even the very words of the originals have been found and we do indeed have access to them.

This does, however, raise another issue. Indeed we do have access to the originals today, but that is do to the many recent discoveries of manuscripts. For nearly 1000 years the church did not have such resources. [10] What do we say, then, about the church during that time period? Did they not have access to God’s Word? That question brings us to the next problem of inerrancy.

The “Phenomena of Scripture”

In his presentation at the Wheaton Theological Conference 2001, John Brogan posed some tough question in regards to inerrancy and the Evangelical doctrine of Scripture. He argued that the current doctrine is insufficient in its attempt to capture the entire “phenomena of Scripture”. He argues that a doctrine of scripture must explain authorship, authority, divine and human origin, and the history of the text from composition to present day.

The key question in this discussion is, “How does the Bible maintain its authority throughout its history to the present day?” Certainly we can hold to an authoritative Bible today because we have access to the original words of the text. But, what about the 1900 years in between the time of composition and today. For nearly 1000 years the church as a whole did not have access to any Greek manuscripts. The main text of the Bible for the church of history was in Latin. How was it that for nearly 1000 years, the Bible was still hailed as authoritative and even infallible (inerrant)? [11]

To answer this question, the doctrine of preservation was developed. The doctrine maintains that inasmuch as God divinely inspired the text He also divinely preserved it throughout the centuries. This, however, raises several other questions, namely, how did God preserve it? We know that it was not maintained in the original Greek word for word throughout history because we do not have a single perfect manuscript. And we also know that it was not even copied and transmitted by the scribes with precise accuracy (there are too many textual variants to maintain this view). How then did God divinely preserve His Word? Or did He at all?

William Barrick makes a helpful distinction in the responsibility of preservation. He distinguishes between the Word in Heaven, and the Word on Earth. The Word in Heaven resides in the mind of God unchanged and perfectly preserved forever. The Word on Earth is the written Word that is susceptible to corruption and even destruction if the peoples to whom the Word was entrusted are not careful. “God’s revelatory Word is fixed firmly in heaven. Regardless of what might happen to His Word on Earth, it is securely preserved in His mind… On Earth, however, God’s people are responsible for preserving and transmitting the Scriptures.” [12] Barrick argues that the Word in Heaven is what God has promised to preserve (Ps 119:89), and the Word on Earth may be corrupted if its stewards do not preserve it correctly. He sites Jeremiah as support for this distinction. After Jeremiah’s scrolls were read to Jehoiakim, He cut away three or four columns of the text at a time and threw the pieces into a nearby fire where the flames consumed them (Jeremiah 36:1-32). Barrick points out that, “An original manuscript (one of the autographa) of God’s written revelation thus perished forever from the Earth because of the act of one man”. [13] God Later reminded Jeremiah of what had been written so that he could once again write it down to be circulated. Barrick goes on to say that, “Those prophecies had been destroyed, but they still survived unchanged in the mind of God in heaven”. [14] Appealing to the Scriptures for his evidence, Barrick makes the following statement:

The evidence of Scripture is that God might, on occasion, allow a portion of His written Word to be destroyed (Exod 31:18-34:28; Jeremiah 36). At times He might chose not to restore what was lost. According to 2 Kgs 22:8-19 (cf. 2 Chron 34:14016), God allowed the priests to misplace the entire five books of Moses for at least fifty years. The Lord sovereignly orchestrated the recovery of those books at the right time. The recovered revelation sparked Josiah’s revival.

In yet another passage it is evident that at least two words dropped from the text and have yet to be recovered over two thousand years later. The Hebrew grammar and context of 1 Sam 13:1 indicate that some numbers have been lost. Such examples are evidence that preservation of Scripture on Earth is not some sort of perpetual miracle. [15]

His conclusion is that there is indeed a distinction between the Word in Heaven and the Word on Earth, and all the promises to preserve His Word are in reference to His Word in Heaven. I found this to be a helpful distinction, but inadequate to explain the problem at hand.

Barrick’s distinction does offer some help, though, in understanding the authority of the Bible throughout history. I propose that there are two facets to God’s Word. First, the divine message (this is God’s Word in Heaven), and second, the divine text (this is God’s Word on Earth). The divine message is the authoritative directive that is within God’s will to be communicated to mankind. The Divine text is the authoritative method in which the divine message was originally communicated by God Himself (ie, the inspired originals). The divine text testifies about the divine message, and it does so perfectly. Because both the divine message and the divine text are from God, they are both authoritative. One can read the divine text and declare, “I will obey because thus saith the Lord!”. In the same way one can receive the divine message and declare the same thing. Originally man became aware of the divine message through the divine text but the divine message is not limited solely to the divine text. In other words, there are several valid ways to communicate the divine message just as there are several ways to communicate a human message. It is entirely possible, then, for a translation of the divine text to maintain its authority inasmuch as it communicates the divine message. Chart 1 below represents the relationship of divine text to divine message. Both are from God and thus have full authority. Divine text is God proclaiming divine message in human words.

Chart 2 shows the relationship between subsequent translations or copies of the divine text and the divine message. Because the translations are derived from the divine text, they maintain its authority, and because they also proclaim the divine message they also derive authority from that.

Inasmuch as the translation proclaims the divine message, it has authority. Likewise, inasmuch as the translation has been accurately rendered from the divine text it will carry authority. This distinction is crucial in understanding the history of the Scripture and its authority.

If indeed God preserved the divine text, then the current discussion would not be an issue. The problem arises however when we acknowledge that the divine text has in fact not been preserved. Daniel Wallace points out that:

Any claim that God preserved the New Testament text in tact, giving His church actual, not theoretical, possession of it, must mean one of three things—either 1) God preserved it in all the extant manuscripts so that none of them contain any textual corruptions, or 2) He preserved it in a group of manuscripts, none of which contain any corruptions, or 3) God preserved it in a solitary manuscript which alone contains no corruptions.

The problem with these first and second possibilities is that neither one of them is true: no two NT manuscripts agree completely—in fact, there are between six and ten variations per chapter for the closest two manuscripts. Is it possible that the NT text was preserved intact in a single manuscript? No one would argue this particular point, because it is easily demonstrable that every manuscript has scribal errors in it. [16]

Wallace goes on to say that “wrong-headed” is “any doctrine of preservation which requires that the exact wording of the text be preserved at all.” [17] He argues that the “preservation passages” offer no support that the term “Word of God” refers to the written Word. In fact, he offers support to the contrary. [18] Wallace’s approach differs from that of Barrick’s in that Barrick maintains the doctrine of preservation of the Word in Heaven. Wallace on the other hand rejects preservation altogether (though both reject preservation of the written word). I do not follow Wallace to his conclusion of rejecting preservation but he does make some excellent points in showing the problems in holding to an absolute preservation of the text.

That the divine text has not been perfectly preserved should not pose a problem in light of the aforementioned distinction. Any copy or translation that proclaims the divine message maintains the authority of that message. “Thou shalt not kill” is a divine message. It is authoritative as God divine directive even though these were not the exact words of God as recorded in the divine text (Lo’ tirtsaach is what is recorded in the divine text as far as we can tell). Indeed there are many ways to say “Lo’ tirtsaach”. One could say, “Do not kill”, “Thou shalt not kill”, "ou phaneuseis” (in Greek), “No mates” (in Spanish) and there are hundreds of other ways to say the same thing: Do not kill! Certainly the authority doesn’t come from the Hebrew letters and sounds, but rather it comes from the divine intention of the message. Many translations have been made and are being made that carry the authority of the Word of God, for, they proclaim the divine message.

Such is the case with the church of history where the Vulgate was the main Bible. It did not contain the original words of the divine text, but it did communicate the divine message and thus maintained its authority as the Word of God. The question remains, though, if the divine text was not examined, how can one be sure that the divine message is really being communicated? The only way to be certain of content is to examine it against the divine text. For this, the church had to appeal to tradition. The vulgate could be traced back to divine text as its origin and thus gave confidence that the divine message was preserved in the text. However, it is important not to overestimate the confidence. Present day discoveries and scholarship have been able to reconstruct the divine text and thus verify that the church of history had access to the divine message. But the church of history had no such resources. Their confidence was based on tradition and trust in the institution. Truly we can look back and say that they had the Word of God more confidently than they could. Such strong confidence in the vulgate was unwarranted without scrutiny against the divine text. Though their conclusions were right (they had the Word of God) their confidence in that conclusion was a bit presumptuous. However, the fact remains, the divine message was preserved and communicated throughout the history of the church, thus the authority of the Word of God was maintained. It wasn’t until recent times that we have been able to confirm this by reconstructing the divine text and comparing our Bibles to the message of the original. What we have found is that the message has been very accurately preserved, and now, even the original text has been preserved with a 1% margin of error.

It is to our benefit and good fortune that God has allowed such an accurate reconstruction of His divine text, thus giving us great confidence both in the Bible of history, and the Bible which we read from today. The statement is true that to the extent that the divine message is proclaimed, it is authoritative - Only to be validated by comparing it against the divine text! It is in this sense that even the preaching of the Word carries authority.

The “Phenomena of Scripture”, namely its composition, transmission, corruption, and restoration, can and has been explained. Authority is maintained throughout history through the message of God. The text itself has had a very turbulent history, but ultimately God has restored it in order to verify and validate our confidence in His Word. It is also essential to understand that no proclamation should confidently be considered authoritative unless it is verified against the divine text, for, in it alone do we find the perfect, inerrant proclamation of the divine message.

Old Testament Issues in the Discussion

Some of the major problems in this discussion stem from the Old Testament manuscripts. The complex process of origin from authorship to circulation makes it very hard to determine what the original autographs actually said. In fact, there is even much debate as to what should be considered the originals. Even the original audience had conflicting opinions on this with books such as Jeremiah where there were at least two different authoritative versions in circulation. These issues need to be addressed in formulating an Evangelical doctrine of Scripture because they are very significant in our understanding of inspiration, inerrancy, and authority.

Authorship, Revision, and Circulation

As previously stated, the process of origin of the Old Testament manuscripts was very complex. Often times the Author, inspired by God, dictated the prophecies he was given by divine revelation to an amanuensis who wrote it down on a scroll. The scrolls were sometimes given to very important people such as kings or some other high ranking official (cf. Jeremiah 36). Often times, the scrolls were collected and revised by an editor, maybe even several editors before they were standardized, copied, and finally put into circulation as the authoritative Word of the Lord to the people. Chart 3 is a simplified example of the process from composition to circulation.

Chart 3: OT Autographs from Composition to Circulation

This process explains why we have so many textual variants among the earliest manuscripts. But the question remains, what should we conclude is the inspired text as God intended it to be read? Is it the original autograph? Or the final standardized text? Or is it the final revised text according to a particular editorial tradition? Bruce Waltke points out there have been five main aims of Old Testament textual criticism that have been sought. [19] The first aim is to restore the inspired original. That is the document that the original author wrote or dictated himself. The second aim is to restore the final text (the standardized text from chart 3). The third aim is to restore the earliest attested text. That is the first text that was universally accepted. This would be the text of about 200 B.C., the text from which the LXX was translated. A fourth aim would be to restore the accepted texts. That is the rabbinical text of about 100 A.D., the text which the Masoretic tradition sought to restore and preserve. The fifth aim is to the restore the final texts. Wallace points out that there may be reason to believe that the original author wrote and circulated several versions of the same book, or there were very early editors of the book before it was standardized. The goal of this textual critic would be to restore all of the early editions of the text (the original autograph, revision 1, and revision 2; See chart 3 above) and take all of them as authoritative. Waltke concludes by stating that “The text critic’s aim will vary according to the nature of the book.” [20] Waltke himself describes his conclusion as “unremarkable” [21] but I have found it to be incredibly helpful.

Of the five proposed aims of OT textual criticism three of them should be considered as valid. The goal should always be to reconstruct the original message. To seek a text dated from 200 B.C. and later is too far removed from the original writing to be considered a valid goal of textual criticism, thus aims 3 and 4 (from above) should not be explored. Rather the text critic should seek the earliest canonical manuscript. Whether that be the original composition of the author, or the final collected text is up to the critic to decide. Indeed there are grounds for seeking a revised manuscript over the original in some cases. The final chapter of Deuteronomy is clearly a later addition to the text as it describes the death of Moses. If the text critic sought only the Mosaic authored text, he would exclude this very important section of the book. In the case of Deuteronomy it is valid to seek to reconstruct not only the original writings of Moses, but also the early editions. An example from the Psalms shows that the text critic should not only seek the original writings, or the early editions, but should seek to restore the final collected text. To only seek the original writings of David or Aseph would be to exclude many other valuable psalms that have been included in the final text.

Indeed God worked through the authors to bring His inspired Word to the world, but the “authors” are not necessarily limited only to those who received credit for their composition. It is important to remember that the Bible is a collection of inspired texts written by many authors to reveal God’s single purpose. This task is not limited only to the mosaic writings of the Pentateuch, but also to the editor’s writings in it as well (such as in the case of Deut 34). Likewise many of the other books of the OT include writings not written by the traditional author that are equally as inspired. Our goal in textual criticism should not be to restore only the writings of a particular author, but to restore the inspired text in its entirety, whoever the author may be. Once all those writings are collected, together they comprise the “original text.”

A Word on Jeremiah

One of the more difficult texts in the Old Testament is the book of Jeremiah. The LXX reading of Jeremiah differs from the MT reading by about 600 words. [22] The forced conclusion is that the LXX translated Jeremiah from a different source than did the MT. Of these two sources, which is to be considered the authoritative original? Hays proposed four possible answers to this question. First, the MT is the inspired text because it was the accepted text. Second, the Hebrew forlogue of the LXX is the inspired original. Third, Both are inspired but this gives a skewed view of inspiration. And fourth, both are original, ie, there was both a long and a short version of Jeremiah in circulation from the beginning. The fourth view is the best view because it reconciles all the other proposed solutions without contradiction. In fact, it has been proposed by John Walton, Doug Kennard, Bruce Waltke, and the present writer that both editions are Jeremaic. That is to say that Jeremiah wrote an earlier, shorter edition in Alexandria and later added to his previous work while in Babylon. [23] Both editions were in circulation and both were authoritative because both were original. Further, this should not pose a great problem, for we have already seen that God can use additions to the initial writing to bring about His divine text, therefore even if both editions were not Jeremaic (which I believe they were), they were both still part of the inspired original.

What is the authoritative text of the Old Testament?

It has already been stated that the “originals” may include more than just the initial work of the accredited author. It can sometimes include the later work of the same author, such as in the case of Jeremiah. It can sometimes include the additional work of a later editor such as with Deuteronomy. It can include several authors over an extended period of time that has been collected into a unit as with the Psalms. Or it can simply be the one-time work of one author. Such is probably the case with Song of Solomon.

The Authoritative text, referring back to chart two, is any copy or version that accurately renders the originals. That is, the originals in their entirety. A copy of the Old Testament that only includes the Psalms of David exclusively should not be held as the authoritative text. It is incomplete as far as God’s revelation is concerned and therefore is not the final authority. It does, however, carry a limited authority inasmuch as it proclaims the Davidic Psalms accurately. When considering the LXX and the MT (at least in the case of Jeremiah) the MT should be viewed as the authoritative text because it contains the completed revelation of God to His prophet Jeremiah. That is not to say that the LXX is of no value. On the contrary it is one of the most valuable sources in textual criticism and exegesis of the Old Testament.

We need to expand our definition of “original autograph” to include the whole process of origin. Daniel Hays prefers the term “original edition” and not the “original autograph”. [24] It is not entirely necessary to lose the term “original autograph” as long as it is understood that the “original autograph” includes additions like Deuteronomy 34, all of the Psalms, and other writings that may not have been in the initial text. “Original edition” is a helpful term in that it reminds us that the authoritative original was the “completed original” and not always just the work of the single author.

Some Concluding Remarks

The major criticisms against the inerrantist are that, one, they do not have access to the originals, two, their doctrine offers no support that the Bibles today carry any authority, and three, they wouldn’t know which manuscripts are the originals if they did have access to them with regards to the Old testament.

These three issues have been dealt with. First, we do have access to what the originals said through textual criticism, second, our Bibles carry authority because they reflect the originals and they proclaim the divine message, and third, we know that the process of composition of the Old Testament was complex, but God brought an authoritative original from that process which we can indeed identify.

Inerrancy has immense implications for authority, and the textual critical issues involved in this discussion need to be taken into consideration in our formulation of an Evangelical doctrine of Scripture. It is true that inerrancy is not without difficulty, but nonetheless it is an absolutely essential doctrine that should not be compromised. All these issues should be considered, but in the end one should always conclude that God’s Word in perfect and inerrant (in their original form) and that our Bibles today accurately represent those originals and the divine message of God and therefore we can maintain with great confidence that the Bible is the absolute final authority for our lives.

Having said that, it is crucial for the student, the expositor, the exegete, and the layman to study diligently so as to be sure that he is rendering the text accurately according to the divine text that he may proclaim with power and authority the divine message. This is our call and our responsibility as stewards of His Word.

Endnotes

[1] In his paper presentation at the Wheaton Theological Conference 2001 entitled Can I have your autograph? Uses and abuses of textual criticism in formulating an Evangelical Doctrine of Scripture.

[2] This is an assumption based on research I have previously done. Due to the length constraints of this paper I have chosen not to include my argument on this point. I will pre-assume inerrancy as the only truly biblical conception of Inspiration.

[3] Wegner, Paul. From Text to Translations, Baker Books, 1999, p168.

[4] This was from a conversation I had with Pate in April 2001.

[5] For a more complete list and description of papyri, uncials, and miniscules that have influenced modern textual criticism, see The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration by Bruce Metzger, p36-66 (Oxford University Press, 1968).

[6] Metzger, Bruce. The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, Oxford University Press, 1968, p68.

[7] Ibid., p68.

[8] Hannah, John D. Inerrancy And The Church. Moody Press, 1984, p6.

[9] Metzger, pp. 88-89.

[10] From about A.D. 500 until the time reformation no Greek manuscripts were in circulation.

[11] Hannah makes a very strong case for the doctrine of inerrancy always being asserted throughout church history. This, also, was the basis for their maintaining the authority of the Scriptures. For more on this see Inerrancy And The Church. By John Hannah. Moody Press, 1984.

[12] Barrick, William. Ancient Manuscripts And Biblical Exposition. The Master’s Seminary Journal vol 9 (Spring 1998), pg 28.

[13] Ibid., p30.

[14] Ibid., p30

[15] Ibid., p31

[16] Wallace, Daniel B. Inspiration, Preservation, and New Testament Textual Criticism. Grace Theological Journal v12 #1, Spring 1991, pp31-32

[17] Ibid., p41

[18] Ibid,. pp42-43 (see footnote #73 on pg 43 for dealings with individual passages).

[19] Waltke, Bruce. Aims of OT Textual Criticism, Westminster Theological Journal, 51:1, Spring 1989.

[20] Ibid., p 107

[21] Ibid., p 108

[22] Hays, J. Daniel. Jeremiah, the Septuagint, the DSS, and Inerrancy: What exactly do we mean by the “Original Autographs”?, Wheaton Theology Conference 2001: The Evangelical Doctrine of Scripture.

[23] Waltke, p 105.

[24] Hays, Daniel.

Emerging Church Economics

There are too many errors in this book for unsophisticated readers. McLaren’s book has value only to readers who recognize the mistakes but are willing to learn about a position that springs from ideology and a theological framework. For me, the emerging church movement is enough to consider by itself without flawed economics intertwined

Mordecai Kaplan: Rethinking Judaism for the New World

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