Most Christians Today Do Not Believe the Bible Is The Inerrant Words of God
Most Christians today do NOT believe The Bible IS the inerrant and infallible word of God. This statement may seem shocking at first, and many pastors and Christians will give the knee-jerk reaction saying that they do believe the Bible IS the infallible word of God.
However, upon further examination, it will soon be discovered that when they speak of an inerrant Bible, they are not referring to something that actually exists anywhere on this earth. They are talking about a mystical Bible that exists only in their imaginations; and each person's particular version differs from all the others.
As one liberal theologian pointed out in his review of Harold Lindsell’s, The Battle for the Bible, the only real difference between the conservative and liberal positions on the Bible is that the conservatives say the Bible USED TO BE inspired and inerrant, whereas the liberal says it NEVER WAS inspired or inerrant. BOTH positions agree that the Bible IS NOT NOW inspired or inerrant.
As brother Daryl Coats so aptly says: "If the Bible was inspired only in the original manuscripts, no one in the entire history of the world has ever had an inspired Bible. The original autographs of Job and the books of Moses had disappeared more than a thousand years before the first book of the New Testament was written, so no one has ever owned a complete Bible made up of the “divine originals.” Nor, has anyone ever owned a complete New Testament made up of “inspired originals”, because the originals were distributed among more than a dozen individuals and local churches."
God said: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD." Amos 8:11
The Lord Jesus Christ also stated in Luke 18:8 "Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"
The apostle Paul wrote concerning the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together unto Him: "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, EXCEPT THERE COME A FALLING AWAY FIRST..." 2 Thessalonians 2:3
The number of professing Christians who do NOT believe in a "hold it in your hands and read" type of inspired Bible has steadily increased over the years since the flood of multiple-choice, conflicting and contradictory modern bible versions began to appear about 100 years ago.
The following testimonies about the character of Evangelicalism today were made by key Evangelical leaders. The irony is that these same men are part of the problem they lament. Each of these men has been guilty of endorsing modern bible versions.
"MORE AND MORE ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS HISTORICALLY COMMITTED TO AN INFALLIBLE SCRIPTURE HAVE BEEN EMBRACING AND PROPAGATING THE VIEW THAT THE BIBLE HAS ERRORS IN IT. This movement away from the historic standpoint has been most noticeable among those often labeled neo-evangelicals. This change of position with respect to the infallibility of the Bible is widespread and has occurred in evangelical denominations, Christian colleges, theological seminaries, publishing houses, and learned societies" (Harold Lindsell, former vice-president and professor Fuller Theological Seminary and Editor Emeritus of Christianity Today, The Battle for the Bible, 1976, p. 20).
"WITHIN EVANGELICALISM THERE ARE A GROWING NUMBER WHO ARE MODIFYING THEIR VIEWS ON THE INERRANCY OF THE BIBLE SO THAT THE FULL AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE IS COMPLETELY UNDERCUT. But is happening in very subtle ways. Like the snow lying side-by-side on the ridge, the new views on biblical authority often seem at first glance not to be very far from what evangelicals, until just recently, have always believed. But also, like the snow lying side-by-side on the ridge, the new views when followed consistently end up a thousand miles apart.
What may seem like a minor difference at first, in the end makes all the difference in the world ... compromising the full authority of Scripture eventually affects what it means to be a Christian theologically and how we live in the full spectrum of human life" (Francis Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster, 1983, p. 44).
The neutral method of Bible study leads to skepticism concerning the New Testament text. This was true long before the days of Westcott and Hort. As early is 1771 Griesbach wrote, "The New Testament abounds in more losses, additions, and interpolations, purposely introduced then any other book."
Griesbach's outlook was shared by J. L. Hug, who in 1808 advanced the theory that in the second century the New Testament text had become deeply degenerate and corrupt and that all extant New Testament texts were but editorial revisions of this corrupted text.
As early as 1908 Rendel Harris declared that the New Testament text had not at all been settled but was "more than ever, and perhaps finally, unsettled."
Two years later Conybeare gave it as his opinion that "the ultimate (New Testament) text, if there ever was one that deserves to be so called, is for ever irrecoverable."
H. Greeven (1960) also has acknowledged the uncertainty of the neutral method of New Testament textual criticism. "In general," he says, "the whole thing is limited to probability judgments; the original text of the New Testament, according to its nature, must be and remains a hypothesis."
Robert M. Grant (1963) adopts a still more despairing attitude. "The primary goal of New Testament textual study," he tells us, "remains the recovery of what the New Testament writers wrote. We have already suggested that to achieve this goal is well-nigh impossible."
Grant also says: "It is generally recognized that the original text of the Bible cannot be recovered."
"As New Testament textual criticism moves into the twenty-first century, it must shed whatever remains of its innocence, for nothing is simple anymore. Modernity may have led many to assume that a straightforward goal of reaching a single original text of the New Testament--or even a text as close as possible to that original--was achievable. Now, however, REALITY AND MATURITY REQUIRE THAT TEXTUAL CRITICISM FACE UNSETTLING FACTS, CHIEF AMONG THEM THAT THE TERM 'ORIGINAL' HAS EXPLODED INTO A COMPLEX AND HIGHLY UNMANAGEABLE MULTIVALENT ENTITY.
Whatever tidy boundaries textual criticism may have presumed in the past have now been shattered, and its parameters have moved markedly not only to the rear and toward the front, but also sideways, as fresh dimensions of originality emerge from behind the variant readings and from other manuscript phenomena"
(E. Jay Epps, "The Multivalence of the Term 'Original Text' In New Testament Textual Criticism," Harvard Theological Review, 1999, Vol. 92, No. 3, pp. 245-281; this article is based on a paper presented at the New Testament Textual Criticism Section, Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida, November 1998).
George Barna, president of Barna Research Group, reported that a study exploring the religious beliefs of the 12 largest denominations in America highlights the downward theological drift that has taken place in Christian churches in recent years. The study found that an alarmingly high number of church members have beliefs that fall far short of orthodox Christianity. ONLY 41 PERCENT OF ALL ADULTS SURVEYED BELIEVED IN THE TOTAL ACCURACY OF THE BIBLE.
Only 40 percent believed Christ was sinless, and only 27 percent believed Satan to be real. Of the Baptists surveyed 57 percent said they believed that works are necessary in order to be saved, 45 percent believed Jesus was not sinless, 44 percent did not believe that the Bible is totally accurate, and 66 percent did not believe Satan to be a real being. Barna said, "The Christian body in America is immersed in a crisis of biblical illiteracy."
The Barna Research Group reported in 1996 that among American adults generally: 58% believe that the Bible is "totally accurate in all its teachings"; 45% believe that the Bible is "absolutely accurate and everything in it can be taken literally."
"Support dropped between that poll and another taken in 2001. Barna reported in 2001 that: 41% of adults strongly agrees that the Bible is totally accurate in all that it teaches."
"Seminary students, future pastors and leaders in the church, show very little support for the inerrancy of the Bible position. What does that foretell about the future of the church? Undoubtedly, just as the poll results show in the 1996 - 2001 time frame, THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE BELIEVING THE BIBLE IS INERRANT WILL DROP."(end of quotes by Barna)
Pastor Michael Youseff's Message on His "Leading The Way" program. The title of todays message was "The Bible, The World's Most Relevant Book - Part 2. In his message he gave statistics of a poll that was conducted. Here is what the poll revealed: 85% of students at America's largest Evangelical Seminary don't believe in the inerrancy of Scripture.
74% of the Clergy in America no longer believe in the inerrancy of Scripture.
Even such modern versions as the NIV and the ESV expose their basic unbelief in the inerrancy of Scripture by their own prefatory remarks. The 1984 NIV Preface closes with these words on page xx. “LIKE ALL TRANSLATIONS OF THE BIBLE, MADE AS THEY ARE BY IMPERFECT MAN, THIS ONE UNDOUBTEDLY FALLS SHORT OF ITS GOALS.”
Well, they were wrong about two things and right about one. #1.There CAN BE a perfect translation. #2 If God cannot use imperfect man to give us His pure words, then there never would have been any “originals” in the first place! #3. The NIV editors definitely got number 3 right - “THIS ONE UNDOUBTEDLY FALLS SHORT.”
The recent ESV (English Standard Version of 2001, 2007, 2011) is a revision of the NRSV which is a revision of the old RSV. It closes out its prefatory remarks saying: “WE KNOW THAT NO BIBLE TRANSLATION IS PERFECT OR FINAL.”
Well, not only do the ESV editors think that NO Bible is perfect or final, their own ESV put out another ESV edition in 2007 and they changed over 350 verses that were in their 2001 ESV, and they continue to reject numerous Hebrew readings. And then they put out another edition is 2011 and changed some more things.
Here is what these ESVs are really like, with concrete examples showing just how corrupt this late$t and greate$t Ver$ion is.
The Nestle Aland Critical Greek Text
I have a copy of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece 27th edition right here in front of me. It is the same Greek text as the UBS (United Bible Society) 4th edition. These are the Greek readings and texts that are followed by such modern versions as the ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman Standard AND the new Catholic versions like the St. Joseph New American Bible 1970 and the New Jerusalem bible 1985 AND the Jehovah Witness New World Translation.
If you have a copy of the Nestle-Aland 27th edition, open the book and read what they tell us in their own words on page 45 of the Introduction. Here these critical Greek text editors tell us about how the Greek New Testament (GNT, now known as the UBS) and the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece grew together and shared the same basic text.In the last paragraph on page 45 we read these words:
"The text shared by these two editions was adopted internationally by Bible Societies, and FOLLOWING AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE VATICAN AND THE UNITED BIBLE SOCIETIES IT HAS SERVED AS THE BASIS FOR NEW TRANSLATIONS AND FOR REVISIONS MADE UNDER THEIR SUPERVISION. THIS MARKS A SIGNIFICANT STEP WITH REGARD TO INTERCONFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS.
IT SHOULD NATURALLY BE UNDERSTOOD THAT THIS TEXT IS A WORKING TEXT; IT IS NOT TO BE CONSIDERED AS DEFINITIVE, BUT AS A STIMULUS TO FURTHER EFFORTS TOWARD DEFINING AND VERIFYING THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.”
There it is folks, in their own words. They openly admit that this text is the result of an agreement between the Vatican and the UBS and that the text itself is not "definitive" - it can change, as it already has and will do so in the future, and is not the infallible words of God but merely "a stimulus to further efforts."
So the scholars who put together their own modern versions acknowledge that their own versions are not the perfect words of God. In fact, not one of them really believes that such a thing exists. So who is really attacking the words of God? It’s the modern versionists and seminary scholars themselves. It is not the King James Bible believers.
The True Bible Believer
In contrast to the now prevailing attitude that the issue of the inerrancy and infallibility of God’s word “is a minor issue” the Scriptures speak of God’s word with great reverence and awe.
“Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.” Psalm 119:128
“Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.” Jeremiah 15:16
“...but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” Isaiah 66:2
“...my heart standeth in awe of thy word.” Psalm 119:161
“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” Psalm 138:2
“Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail...” Isaiah 34:16
No my friend, it is not the King James Bible believer who is attacking the words of God. On the contrary, it is the King James Bible believer who really and truly believes that God has been faithful to His promises that “The Scripture cannot be broken” and that we do have such a thing as a complete, inspired and 100% true Holy Bible on the earth today.
All of grace, believing the Book - The King James Holy Bible.
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