The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy = just more Evangelical mumbo jumbo signifying nothing
Do you believe "the Bible" IS the inspired and 100% true and inerrant words of God or not?
Take The Bible Agnostic Test found in this article and see how you do? Go ahead. Give it a try.
The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy
You can see and read here for yourself this modern day Evangelical confession of faith in what they call the Scriptures.
This was the statement that launched the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, an interdenominational joint effort by hundreds of evangelical scholars and leaders to defend biblical inerrancy against the trend toward liberal and neo-orthodox conceptions of Scripture.
The Statement was produced at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Chicago in the fall of 1978, during an international summit conference of concerned evangelical leaders. It was signed by nearly 300 noted evangelical scholars, including Boice, Norman L. Geisler, John Gerstner, Carl F. H. Henry, Kenneth Kantzer, Harold Lindsell, John Warwick Montgomery, Roger Nicole, J.I. Packer, Robert Preus, Earl Radmacher, Francis Schaeffer, R.C. Sproul, and John Wenham.
As you will soon see, this “bold” confession of faith in the inerrancy of Scripture is nothing more than a pious sounding bunch of mumbo jumbo that ends up meaning absolutely nothing of any value to anyone. Notice their repeated use of present tense verbs in such phrases as “the Holy Scriptures ARE the supreme written norm”, “the Scripture IS true and reliable in all the matters it ADDRESSES.” and “Scripture in its entirety IS inerrant, BEING free from all falsehood, fraud, or deceit.”
This all sounds very good and orthodox. I like it. So, WHERE IS this inerrant and infallible Scripture they keep telling us about? Oh, wait. Now they tell us in Article X. Here it is: “We affirm that inspiration, strictly speaking, APPLIES ONLY TO THE AUTOGRAPHIC TEXT of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy. We further affirm that copies and translations of Scripture ARE the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original.”
Now, this “statement on inerrancy” is absurd on several levels. First of all, they have never seen a single word of these originals a day in their lives and the originals never did make up a 66 books in one volume Bible to begin with. Secondly, it is absurd to affirm that "translations are the Word of God (it should be "word" of God, not the "Word" (Jesus Christ) of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original", when they HAVE no original to compare any translation to.
They are professing a faith in something they KNOW does not exist and they have never seen. Now, that is pretty silly, isn't it. They don't have a complete, inspired and infallible Bible to show or give to anyone. Try a little honesty, folks. Don't try to pass off pious sounding double speek as gospel truth.
A far more honest “statement of inerrancy” based on what they really believe (and most other Christians today too) would go something like this: “IF the originals had survived and WOULD HAVE BEEN placed into a single volume consisting of 66 inspired books, THEN THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN the inerrant and 100% historically true Bible we could have believed in. Unfortunately God did not do it this way and so we just have to do the best we can with what we have and nobody is really sure about or in total agreement with everybody else about what any particular reading or text might be. So, go with God and hope for the best.”
And who is this "WE" who "ascertains with great accuracy", when even Kurt Aland of the Nestle-Aland fame has compared 7 different Greek texts and tells us that it is amazing that they agree with each other about 63% of the time, and they didn't even include the Textus Receptus in this study, which would have made the differences much more.
The Alands, discussing the differences between seven popular critical editions of the New Testament, excluding orthographic differences and differences of only one word, calculate that 62.9% of the verses of the entire New Testament are in agreement with each other. Similarly, if we look at the statistics for the gospels, we find that there is a 54.5% agreement.
See this Kurt Aland study in my articles
Are All Bibles 99% the Same? Part One.
Are All Bibles 99% the Same? Part Two
Notice one particular requirement The Chicago Statement lists for us that defines this non-existent, hypothetical, philosophical, mystical and not yet in print “Inerrant Scripture” they keep wanting us to think they believe in. It’s found in Article XII - “We deny that Biblical infallibility and inerrancy are limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes, exclusive of ASSERTIONS IN THE FIELD OF HISTORY AND SCIENCE."
Well, as a King James Bible believer (with a real Bible to give to anyone who wants to read it for himself) I agree that the true and INFALLIBLE WORDS OF GOD MUST ALSO BE 100% HISTORICALLY TRUE." IF IT IS NOT, THEN WE SHOULD ASK AT WHAT POINT AND WHEN DOES GOD START TO TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT ALL THOSE OTHER THINGS FOUND IN HIS BOOK."
So, let’s take the following few examples and ask our “originals only” brethren to tell us what their “inerrant Bible” actually says in these following places. I have basically limited this list to different historical events regarding the names of the people or the numbers of the things or people involved in these historical events.
The following short list is just a sampling of the divergent and confusing readings found among the contradictory modern bible versions. There are numerous other examples.
The Bible Agnostic Test
I hear from many unbelievers in the existence of a complete and infallible Bible when they say: "I'm not a bible agnostic! You don't know my heart. How can you say I am a bible agnostic and an unbeliever in the inerrancy of the Bible? How dare you? You are being judgmental."
So I ask them if they are willing to take The Bible Agnostic Test. A bible agnostic is someone who does not know (a = not + gnostic = to know) for sure what God said in many instances. Just go through this first part where you will find about 20 examples of completely different names and numbers in todays Bible Babble Buffet Versions and tell us if you know which readings are the ones God inspired in His Book. Just pick one example if you like and let us know. OK? Most bible agnostic simply dodge the whole test and refuse to answer it. What about you? Willing to take the Test?
The Bible Babble Buffet Versions
Among these “historic details” are whether Jeremiah 27:1 reads Jehoiakim (Hebrew texts, RV, ASV, NKJV, KJB, Douay-Rheims) or Zedekiah (RSV, NIV, NASB, ESV, NET, Holman, Catholic New Jerusalem 1985)
Judges 18:30 Manasseh or Moses?
KJB - "And the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of MANASSEH, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land."
ESV (NIV, NET, Holman Standard, Catholic versions, Jehovah Witness NWT) - "And the people of Dan set up the carved image for themselves, and Jonathan the son of Gershom, son of MOSES, and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land."
whether 2 Samuel 21:8 reads Michal (Hebrew texts, KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV, Douay-Rheims) or Merab (RSV, NIV, NASB, ESV, NET, Holman, Catholic New Jerusalem)
Three or Thirty?
2 Samuel 23:18-19 KJB (Hebrew texts, Geneva, NKJV, NIV, NET, Holman) - “And Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief among THREE. And he lifted up his spear against three hundred, and slew them, and had the name among three. Was he not most honourable of THREE? therefore he was their captain: howbeit he attained not unto the first three.
2 Samuel 23:18-19 - “…was chief of THE THIRTY…most renowned of THE THIRTY” (RSV, NRSV, ESV, NASB)
1 Kings 5:11 “TWENTY measures” (Hebrew text, KJB, NASB, ASV, ISV) or “TWENTY THOUSAND baths” (NIV, LXX) “20,000 cors” (RSV, ESV, NET)?
King James Bible - “And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food TO HIS HOUSEHOLD, and TWENTY MEASURES of pure oil: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year.
ESV (RSV, NRSV, NIV, NET) - “while Solomon gave Hiram 20,000 core of wheat as food for his household, and 20,000 cors of beaten oil. Solomon gave this to Hiram year by year.” ESV Footnote 20,000 = Septuagint; 20 = Hebrew.
or the 7th day in Judges 14:15 (KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV, Douay-Rheims) or the 4th day (RSV, ESV, NASB, NIV, NET, Catholic New Jerusalem)
Or Hannah taking young Samuel to the house of the LORD with THREE bullocks in 1 Samuel 1:24 (KJB, Hebrew texts, RV, ASV, JPS 1917, NKJV, Youngs, NET, Douay-Rheims) or “A THREE YEAR OLD BULL: (LXX, Syriac RSV, ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman, Catholic New Jerusalem)
1 Samuel 6:19 - 50,070 men slain or only 70 or 75 or 70 men 50 chief men or 50 oxen of a man? Why we cannot trust the Bible commentators or the modern versions.
1 Samuel 6:19 King James Bible - "And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, 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."
ESV 2016 (NIV 2011, Catholic St. Joseph New American bible 1970, Catholic New Jerusalem 1985) - "He struck SEVENTY men of them, and the people mourned because the LORD had struck the people with a great blow."
Young’s "literal" translation reads: “He smiteth among the people SEVENTY MEN - FIFTY CHIEF MEN”.
The Holman Christian Standard Bible 2009 has come up with a reading that is different from them all. The HCSB now says: "He struck down 70 men out of 50,000 men."
or there being 30,000 chariots in 1 Samuel 13:5 (KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, ESV, Douay-Rheims) or only 3000 (NIV, NET, Holman, Catholic New Jerusalem)
Look at the new "revision" of the ESV 2011. It came out in 2001 and they revised and changed about 300 verses in 2007 and then they revised it again in 2011. Take a look at what they have done with 1 Samuel 13:1.
1 Samuel 13:1 Here we read: “Saul reigned ONE year; and when he had reigned TWO years over Israel, Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel.” reading - ONE/TWO years (NKJV, KJB, Geneva, Judaica Press Tanach, Orthodox Jewish Bible), or 40/32 (NASB 1972-77) or 30/42 (NASB 1995, NIV), OR 30 years/ 40 years (NET) or _____years and______and two years (RSV, NRSV, ESV 2001 edition, St. Joseph New American Bible 1970, Catholic New Jerusalem 1985), or "was 40 years old...and when he had reigned 2 years" (Amplified bible 1987) or "____years old and reigned 2 years" (Complete Jewish bible, Knox bible) or "was 30 years old...ruled for 42 years" (ISV, Common English Bible) or “32 years old...reigned for 22 years” in the 1989 Revised English Bible, or even "was 50 years old and reigned 22 years."!
But wait. There's even more. The ESV 2001 edition had "Saul was________years old when he began to reign, and he reigned____and two years over Israel." But now the 2011 edition of the ESV has come out (I have a hard copy right here in front of me) and it now has the perhaps even more ridiculous reading of "Saul LIVED FOR ONE YEAR AND THEN BECAME KING, and when he had reigned FOR TWO YEARS over Israel, Saul chose 3000 men of Israel...". Think about it. "Saul lived for one year and then became king". They just get loopier and loopier, don't they?
Can you guess which other bible version reads like the latest ESV? You got it. The Catholic Douay-Rheims and the Douay Version 1950 - "Saul WAS A CHILD OF ONE YEAR WHEN HE BEGAN TO REIGN, and he reigned two years over Israel."
By the way, here is a more in depth study showing why the King James Bible got it right, as it ALWAYS does.
1 Samuel 17:4 How Tall Was Goliath?
In 1 Samuel 17:4 the Hebrew texts tell us that the height of Goliath was SIX cubits and a span, which would make him about 9 feet 6 inches tall. That indeed is a giant. However the LXX tells us that Goliath was a mere FOUR cubits and a span - "ὕψος αὐτοῦ τεσσάρων πήχεων καὶ σπιθαμῆς" - which would make him only 6 feet 6 inches tall, which would hardly be much among NBA players today. King Saul himself was head and shoulders taller than the other Israelites, and yet he was afraid of this giant. If he were only 6ft. 6 inches, this would not make much sense.
Agreeing with the Hebrew text the he was 6 cubits and a span tall are the RSV, ESV, NASB, NIV, NKJV and all Jewish translations.
However there are a few loonies out there like Daniel Wallace and gang's NET version that says: "His name was Goliath; he was from Gath. He was CLOSE TO SEVEN FEET TALL."
Dan Wallace's group chose the reading found in SOME LXX copies of FOUR and a half cubits tall. Other LXX copies have FIVE and others still have SIX cubits and a span. Also reading this way are the new ISV (International Standard Version) and the Catholic St. Josepeh New American bible 1970. So, which one is right? Was he 4 or 5 or 6 cubits and a span tall?
For more information on this see Scatterbrained Septuagint Silliness -
2 Samuel 15:7 “forty years” (KJB, Hebrew, Geneva, NKJV, NASB, RV, Douay-Rheims) OR “four years” (NIV, RSV, ESV, NET, Catholic New Jerusalem)
or whether both 2 Samuel 23:18 and 1 Chronicles 11:20 read “chief of the THREE” (KJB, Hebrew texts, RV, ASV, NKJV, NRSV, Holman, NIV, NET, Holman, NET, Douay-Rheims) or THIRTY from the Syriac (NASB, RSV, ESV, Catholic New Jerusalem)
or 2 Samuel 24:13 reading SEVEN years (KJB, Hebrew, ASV, NASB, NKJV, NET, Douay-Rheims) or THREE years (LXX, NIV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, Holman, Catholic New Jerusalem)
or whether 1 Kings 4:26 reads 40,000 stalls of horses (Hebrew, KJB, RV, ASV, NASB, ESV, NKJV, Douay-Rheims) or 4,000 stalls (NIV, NET, Catholic New Jerusalem)
or whether 1 Kings 5:11 reads 20 measures of pure oil (Hebrew texts, Geneva, KJB, ASV, RV, NASB, NRSV, Douay-Rheims) or 20,000 (RSV, NIV, ESV, NET, LXX and Syriac, Catholic New Jerusalem)
2 Chronicles 3:4 - “one hundred and twenty” or “twenty cubits”?
2 Chronicles 3:4 Measurements of the house of the LORD built by king Solomon — “the height ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY” or “TWENTY CUBITS HIGH”?
2 Chronicles 3:4 - KJB (ESV, NASB) - “And the porch that was in front of the house, the length of it was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the height was AN HUNDRED AND TWENTY; and he overlaid it within with pure gold.”
NIV (NET, Holman, Catholic St. Joseph) - 2 Chronicles 3:4 - “The portico at the front of the temple was twenty cubits long, across the width of the building and TWENTY CUBITS HIGH. He overlaid the inside with pure gold.”
NIV Footnote: “SOME Septuagint and Syriac manuscripts; Hebrew A HUNDRED AND TWENTY.”
or in 2 Chronicles 31:16 we read "males from THREE years old" (Hebrew texts, KJB, Geneva Bible, Wycliffe, LXX, Syriac, RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, NIV, NKJV, Holman, NET, Douay-Rheims) or "males from THIRTY years old" (NASB - ft. Hebrew “three”, Catholic New Jerusalem)
or where 2 Chronicles 36:9 reads that Jehoiachin was 8 years old when he began to reign (Hebrew texts, KJB, NASB, NKJV, RV, ASV, KJB, RSV, NRSV, ESV 2001 edition, Douay-Rheims) or he was 18 years old (NIV, Holman, NET, ESV 2007 edition!!! and once again the Catholic New Jerusalem)
Jeremiah 27:1 JEHOIAKIM or ZEDEKIAH? Has the Hebrew text been corrupted?
Jeremiah 27:1 - Is there a scribal error in the King James Bible and in the Hebrew Masoretic text?
Jeremiah 27:1 KJB - "In the beginning of the reign of JEHOIAKIM the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying...."
ESV, RSV, NIV, NASB, NET, Catholic New Jerusalem bible 1985 - "In the beginning of the reign of ZEDEKIAH the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD."
The King James Bible is right, as always. And here is why -
Luke 10:42 How many things are needed? "ONE THING" or "A FEW THINGS"? Bible Babble Buffet at its Best.
King James Bible - Luke 10:42 - But ONE THING IS NEEDFUL: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
NASB 1963-1977 editions - “But ONLY A FEW THINGS ARE NECESSARY, REALLY ONLY ONE, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
NASB 1995 edition - “But ONLY ONE THING IS NECESSARY, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
NIV 1973, 1978 and 1982 editions - "BUT ONLY ONE THING IS NEEDED. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her."
NIV 2011 edition - "BUT FEW THINGS ARE NEEDED - OR INDEED ONLY ONE. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her."
Did you notice that both the NASB and the NIV changed THE TEXT from one edition to another, AND that they REVERSED THEIR CHOICES? What is going on here in Bible Babble Buffet Land?
Luke 10:1,17 were there 70 sent out to preach (NASB, NKJV, RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, Holman, ISV, KJB) or 72 sent out? (NIV, ESV, NET, St. Joseph NAB, Catholic New Jerusalem)
or in Matthew 18:22 does the Lord say to forgive your brother not “until 7 times, but unto 70 times 7 times” (= 490 times - KJB, RV, ASV, NASB, NKJV, RSV, ESV 2001, 2007 editions, ISV, Douay-Rheims, St. Joseph NAB, ALL Greek texts) or 77 times? (NRSV, NIV, ESV 2011 edition, Catholic New Jerusalem, Jehovah Witness New World Translation)
Hebrews 11:11 Was it Sarah or Abraham?
Hebrews 11:11 KJB - "Through faith also SARAH HERSELF received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child, when SHE was past age, because SHE judged him faithful who had promised."
(Tyndale, Geneva, Darby, Young’s, RV, ASV, NASB, RSV, ESV 2011, NKJV, Holman Standard 2009, Common English Bible 2012 and ALL Greek texts)
NIV 1973, 1978 and 1982 editions - "By faith ABRAHAM, even though HE was past age - AND SARAH HERSELF WAS BARREN - was enabled to become A FATHER because HE considered him faithful who had made the promise."
(Dan Wallace's NET version 2006, NRSV 1989, New Century Version 2005, Names of God bible 2011, Lexham English bible 2012)
NIV 2011 edition - "And by faith even SARAH, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because SHE considered him faithful who had made the promise."
or that when God raised the Lord Jesus from the dead it is stated in Acts 13:33 “this day have I begotten thee” (KJB, NASB, NKJV, RV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, Douay-Rheims) or “today I have become your Father”? (NIV, Holman, NET, Catholic New Jerusalem).
If you go back and read through this list of just some of the numerous very real differences that exist among these Bible of the Month Club versions, ask yourself Which (if any) are the 100% historically true words of God. IF "the Bible" is not 100% historically true in the events it narrates, then when does God start to tell us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
So, try to honestly answer the basic question here. Do you or do you not believe there IS (or ever was) a complete, inspired and 100% true Bible in any language that IS the inerrant and infallible words of God? Are you a Bible believer or a Bible “agnostic” who doesn’t know if such a Bible exists or not and what it might look like if it did?
Here are the documented FACTS about where present day Christianity stands in its apostate beliefs about the Inerrancy and Infallibility of the Bible. Most Christians today do NOT believe The Bible IS the inspired 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 in his article The Two Lies: "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."
"...every textual critic knows that this similarity of text indicates, rather, that we have made little progress in textual theory since Westcott-Hort; that WE SIMPLY DO NOT KNOW HOW TO MAKE A DEFINITIVE DETERMINATION AS TO WHAT THE BEST TEXT IS; that we do not have a clear picture of the transmission and alteration of the text in the first few centuries; and, accordingly, that the Westcott-Hort kind of text has maintained its dominant position largely by default" (Eldon Epp, "The Twentieth-Century Interlude in NT Textual Criticism," Studies in the Theory and Method of New Testament Textual Criticism, p. 87).
"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).
In his well written article, The Two Lies, ( http://av1611.com/kjbp/articles/coats-twolies.html ) Bible believer Daryl R. Coats says: "If the Bible were inspired only in the original manuscripts, no one today really knows for sure what is in "the Bible" because no one today has ever seen the original manuscripts. Not surprisingly, this is the attitude behind every English "bible" published since 1611.
"We can only follow the best judgment of competent scholars as to the most probable reconstruction of the original text," says the preface to the RSV, too deceitful to define just what a "competent scholar" is and to cut through the double-talk and admit, "This is what we think the Bible might be." "Scholarly uncertainty" is more clearly evident in the third edition of the UBS "Greek New Testament," the introduction to which states, "The letter A [next to a passage] signifies that the text is virtually certain, while B indicates there is some degree of doubt. The letter C means that there is a considerable degree of doubt whether the text or the apparatus contains the superior reading [note: "the superior reading" is not the same as "the correct reading"!], while D shows there is a very high degree of doubt concerning the reading selected for the text."
Apparently the scholars change their mind from year to year as to which "readings" are genuine; how else do we explain the "more than five hundred changes" between the second and third editions of the UBS "Greek New Testament"?
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."
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.
What Christians really believe
A book by George A. Marsden, "Reforming Fundamentalism" quotes a survey of student belief at one of the largest Evangelical seminaries in the US. The poll indicated that 85% of the students "do not believe in the inerrancy of Scripture."
This book also lists the results of a poll conducted by Jeffery Hadden in 1987 of 10,000 American clergy. They were asked whether they believed that the Scriptures are the inspired and inerrant Word of God in faith, history, and secular matters:
95% of Episcopalians,
87% of Methodists,
82% of Presbyterians,
77% of American Lutherans, and
67% of American Baptists said "No."
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."
“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Matthew 11:15
Manuscript Comparison Chart
p 45 agrees with
p 66 agrees with
p 75 agrees with
p 45, 66, 75 agrees with
p 45, 66 agrees with
(The above chart data, taken from A Survey of the Researches into the Western Text of the Gospel & Acts; part two 1949-1969, by A.F.K. Klijn.)
Papyrus (p45) contains excerpts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts. It is presently in the Chester Beatty Museum, Dublin, Ireland.
Papyrus (p66) contains excerpts from the Gospel of John. It is presently located at Cologne/Geneve, in the Bibliotheque Bodmer.
Papyrus (p75) contains excerpts of Luke and John. It is presently located at Cologne/Geneve, in the Bibliotheque Bodmer.
Note, please, that these lately discovered manuscript fragments, agree more frequently with the Textus Receptus, than they do with Westcott and Hort's favored Aleph and B. p45 is thought to date from the 3rd century. p66 is dated circa 200 A.D. And, p75 is dated from the beginning of the 3rd century.
Wilbur Pickering, ThM. PhD. writes in his book The Identity of the New Testament Text, 2014 -
"Bruce Metzger said, "It is understandable that in some cases different scholars will come to different evaluations of the significance of the evidence". A cursory review of the writings of textual scholars suggests that Metzger's "in some cases" is decidedly an understatement. In fact, even the same scholars will vacillate, as demonstrated by the "MORE THAN FIVE HUNDRED CHANGES" introduced into the third edition of the Greek text produced by the United Bible Societies as compared with the second edition (the same committee of five editors prepared both).
K. Aland, M. Black, C.M. Martini, B.M. Metzger, and A. Wikgren, eds., The Greek New Testament, third edition (New York: United Bible Societies, 1975), p. viii. Although this edition is dated 1975, Metzger's Commentary upon it appeared in 1971. The second edition is dated 1968. IT THUS APPEARS THAT IN THE SPACE OF THREE YEARS ('68-'71), WITH NO SIGNIFICANT ACCRETION OF NEW EVIDENCE, THE SAME GROUP OF FIVE SCHOLARS CHANGED THEIR MIND IN OVER 500 PLACES. IT IS HARD TO RESIST THE SUSPICION THAT THEY WERE GUESSING."
The changes between the 25th and 27th editions of the Nestle-Aland NTG are also interesting -- 763 changes, of which 408 occur in the Gospels.
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Notes from the Internet
John MacArthur Plans Biblical Inerrancy Summit
John MacArthur, along with several other influential Christian leaders, is soon going to host what they call a Biblical Conference on Inerrancy. With great fanfare (and pious sounding hypocrisy) they announce: "We have a dynamic line-up, including today's preeminent defenders of truth: Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Sinclair Ferguson, Carl Trueman, Iain Murray, Ian Hamilton, Derek Thomas, Miguel Nunez, Steve Lawson, RC Sproul, Mark Dever, Paige Patterson, Steven Nichols and Kevin DeYoung. These are leaders who are willing to stand up for the integrity of Scripture without compromise."
Mr. MacArthur states: "The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, released in 1978, set the standard for inerrancy. Since that document was produced 36 years ago, a new generation has arrived that needs to be brought in line with the truth. Current publications demonstrate that the true doctrine of inerrancy is under attack. Some of these attacks are subtle while others are more blatant, but anything that undermines the absolute inerrancy of Scripture destroys the foundation of all Christian truth. Trusting the Bible is everything. Next year's Summit will address this crucial issue, and give it the attention it deserves.
In every generation, pastors and teachers are accountable to God for defending the authority and inspiration of Scripture. Trusting God's Word is directly connected to trusting His person. Trusting His Word is also the necessary conviction of every Bible expositor. Preaching biblical exposition and believing in inerrancy are inseparable. Next year's Summit is intended to act as a beacon for the benefit of the church where we intend to expose the fallacies, silence the critics, and reaffirm the trustworthiness of Scripture."
Having John MacArthur give a lecture on the Inerrancy of the Bible is like having Hugh Hefner give a talk extolling the virtues of celibacy.
See John MacArthur - Confused and Self-Contradictory Pastor with No Infallible Bible
Brother Daniels 6 minute video It is NOT a conspiracy theory.
Change the Bible by changing the words
After you watch it, you might like a couple of concrete examples. Here they are. You might be very surprised at what you see here.
Examples of some of these "word changes" for the new religion.
Acts 17:22 "too superstitious" changed to "very religious"
Titus 3:10 "heretic" changed to "a divisive person"
"He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." Luke 8:8
Well done movie-documentary on The King James Bible - the Book that Changed the World.