Thursday, November 13, 2008
Beware of the "Originals Only" cult
The Cult of the “Originals Only”
Definition: The Cult of the “Originals Only” refers to people who believe that ONLY the original autographs of the Word of God is perfectly inspired, inerrant and infallible. These people deny that Christians can have a perfectly inspired, infallible and inerrant Bible TODAY in any tangible form.
Conservatives say the Bible used to be inspired and inerrant.
Liberals say it never was inspired or inerrant.
Both agree that the Bible is now NOT inspired, inerrant or infallible.
How true the above observation is. Christians who claim that they believe (or think that they believe) in the inerrancy and the infallibility of the Bible is in PRACTICE DENYING that the “Bible” they have in their hands is infallible and inerrant. They claim that God did NOT preserve the autographs perfectly for our generation of Christians. God had somehow inspired the “original autographs”, but subsequently decided to allow the “originals” to perish with time. AFTER the demise of the autographs, Christians are WITHOUT a perfectly inspired, inerrant and infallible Word of God. Is this true?
Some scholars now claim that we “have” the “Bible”, but not quite a “Bible”; “inerrant” and “infallible”, but contain “scribal” errors and mistakes. They are claiming that the Word of God is truthful, and yet erroneous; accurate, and yet debatable; infallible, and yet capable of lying.
Alas, Almighty Jehovah had preserved an uninspired, erroneous, and fallible “Bible” for us all. The Bible says that “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8) I call this double-tongued speaking.
According to the “science” (1 Timothy 6:20) of textual criticism, the scholars will decide what IS the Word of God and what isn’t, what is fact and what is fiction. We, the laity, will be fully dependent upon the opinions of these men as to WHAT constitutes the Word of God - which verses are authentic, which words are true, and which verses or words are “scribal” errors. You will have a bible (which is not infallible or inspired, because it is NOT the originals), but the scholars will decide for you WHAT makes up that bible. You will have mistakes in that bible of yours, but again, you will listen to your scholar as to what constitutes reliable “scholarship”, and what constitutes “copyist” errors.
Your bible is your authority, but your scholar is the FINAL AUTHORITY. All hail the textual critic, the father of the contemporary bible and the savior of the Word of God (who lost the “originals” to father time). Mankind is forever grateful to thee for recovering the “lost words” of the “lost book” from “forgotten realms” and “faraway lands”.
If the “Originals Only” cult is true, and if only the originals are inspired, inerrant and infallible, then it would be logical and mathematical to derive the following conclusions:
1) Every manuscript, except the originals, is not perfectly infallible, inerrant and inspired. Remember, it's only in the original autographs that the Word of God is perfectly inspired, inerrant and infallible (according to these scholars).
2) All the currently available English bibles are just translations, and cannot be inspired and inerrant.
3) Fact: No scholars in the world, no matter what they believe, DO NOT HAVE THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS. Hence, we do not have the perfectly inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God today in our possession.
4) Therefore, the bibles we have in our hands, the bibles we bring to church and the bibles the preacher uses in the pulpit are not perfectly inspired, infallible and inerrant. This would mean that the bibles we use are indeed fallible and erroneous in certain places. This is because only the original autographs are perfectly inspired, infallible and inerrant.
5) The manuscripts we have are "close" to the originals, but not the originals; therefore, these manuscripts are not perfectly inspired, infallible and inerrant. Therefore, any translations from these manuscripts cannot be inspired and infallible.
The above conclusion would lead to a couple of rhetoric:
1) Which part of the bible are we to consider "correct, infallible and inerrant"; and which text and verses are we to proclaim "doubtful, erroneous, and fallible".
2) If so, ACCORDING TO WHO?
3) If I am a heathen, and I want to read the Word of God to find the truth, where on earth do I find a perfect, inspired, infallible and inerrant Word of God? (Sadly, some would have to "admit" that there is no perfect, inspired, infallible and inerrant Word of God today.)
4) If we do not have the "perfect" Word of God, and if there are possible "errors" (it doesn't matter what kind of error you call it, be it "scrabbling errors", "non-essential errors", or "copyists errors") in our bibles today, WHAT IS OUR FINAL, ABSOLUTE, PERFECT AUTHORITY? Why believe in an erroneous quasi-inspired half-truth?
Finally, do we have a FINAL AUTHORITY?
Do we have the absolute Word of God to base our doctrines upon, or do we accept a whole range of subjective opinions from a variety of scholars and professors?
Did God preserve His Word?
Or did He not?
If He did preserve His Word, did He preserve it fallibly or INFALLIBLY?
Can His perfectly preserved Word contain "errors"???
At the end of the road, the “Originals Only” cult is left with NO perfectly preserved Word of God. All they are left with are their own preferences, opinions and theories. They will have no tangible FINAL AUTHORITY in the form of a book.
The Christians who believe that God had perfectly preserved for men a perfectly inspired, inerrant and infallible Bible will have the confidence that our faithful Lord had kept His Word.
These Christians will have a FINAL AUTHORITY in the form of a perfectly inspired, inerrant and infallible Bible. They will not have to rely on men’s opinions or preferences.
copies from an old email> JNH