apographs / manuscript copies

Read the Copy!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them (Deuteronomy 17:18,19 KJV).

What does the Bible say about manuscript copies?

Friend, if you have read or heard material from seminary and/or Bible College students, and/or their staunch sympathizers, you know their maxim. They declare, ad nauseum: “We do not have the original Bible manuscripts. All we have is copies. Only the autographs were perfect and inspired of God.” They exalt the originals (which they know no longer exist); they belittle the copies (which alone exist). Leave it to theologians to embrace such absurdity: “I have full confidence in original manuscripts that I can neither access nor read. As for these manuscript copies we do have, they are good but not infallible. By the way, my doctrinal statement is perfect—the Bible out of which I derived it is not!”

We should have a verse somewhere to support what we believe or teach. There is not a verse in all of Scripture—in any manuscript or version—that supports the idea that manuscript copies are less reliable than the originals. However, there is a verse—several, actually—that shows us that God equates original manuscripts (“autographs”) and their resultant copies (“apographs”). When Israel’s king assumed the throne, today’s Scripture says that God commanded that he copy the original manuscripts of Moses’ writings (Genesis through Deuteronomy, the “Pentateuch”). The originals were kept in the Ark of the Covenant; the king was to read his own personal copy!

In God’s mind, the copy was just as authoritative as the originals, for that copy would prevent the king from “turning… aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left” (verse 20). If the king obeyed the copy, God declared he would not make a mistake (indicating the Bible copy was also inerrant). Either we believe the King James Bible, or we believe theologians!

Paper, Pen, and Ink

Monday, November 14, 2016

“Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. The children of thy elect sister greet thee” (2 John 12,13 KJV).

We use today’s Scripture to glimpse into the culture of “New Testament” times!

The Apostle John wrote in his Third Epistle, verses 13 and 14: “I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.”

In John’s day, A.D. first century, “paper” was quite different from our paper. The cheaper—and thus, more common—form was papyrus. Thin strips were cut from the papyrus plant reed, laid side-by-side and overlapped, with an alternating layer glued on top, all pressed together to form a sheet. More expensive (and rarer) writing media were vellum (calf skins—higher quality) and parchment (bull and goat skins—lesser quality). Text written on skins would obviously last longer than that which was written on papyrus. Scrolls were first, with codices (books) arriving in the third and fourth centuries. What they called “ink” was really a mixture of soot and water, with gum added to make the ink more durable. The “pen” they used for writing was either a small dried reed/stick, cut to a point at one end; or a quill (feather); which was filled with the “ink.”

Friends, it is quite difficult for us to imagine just how laborious writing was in those days. Instruments and materials were crude and sometimes hard to obtain. They did not have computers to which they could dictate, or keyboards on which to type fast. Furthermore, if they wanted to copy a text, there was no photocopying machine. Copying had to be done entirely by hand! Surely, it was very time consuming. However, there were prophets in both “Old and New Testaments,” guided by the Spirit of God, to ensure the Holy Bible was accurately copied and collated. Consider what has been written here. Then, look at your physical Bible today, friend. It has come a long, LONG way! 🙂

Behind the Scenes #5

Monday, March 16, 2015

“The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations” (Psalm 33:11 KJV).

In the form of the Holy Bible, the Creator God has given us a “behind-the-scenes” look at creation! Will we humble ourselves to take a sneak-peak?

Imagine, if you will, an inventor has just given you a new product, the first of its kind. You are the first to use it. Apart from an instruction manual (which hopefully you get with the product!), you have no idea of its purpose. You could sit there and inspect the product, you could disassemble it, you could learn how it functions, and so on, but unless you have some written explanation as to its purpose, you are wasting your time guessing! The product will be meaningless to you if you cannot use it as the inventor intended.

This crude illustration epitomizes the flaws of the strict, rationalistic, empirical nature of the scientific method. We must observe a natural process before we can proceed to explaining it and testing our hypothesis (tentative explanation) with data gathered. That idea must then withstand scrutiny and future testing if it is to be elevated to a theory or model. Otherwise, the hypothesis is rejected and must be refined.

As you can see, science is limited to answering only the “how” question. Science is useful in discovering how something works. But, why does the something work? What is its purpose? Science cannot answer it and it will never be able to answer it. The “why” question cannot be answered because “why” is something immaterial; science, strictly speaking, is concerned only with the material (visible) world. Science has no authority in the invisible (spiritual) realm: it cannot be used to ascertain intention.

As Bible-believing creationists, it is not we who are closed-minded, for we admit the study of the natural world leads us to understand just how orderly-structured and fine-tuned our universe is (and exists so for a purpose!). The close-minded individuals are those who refuse to see and hear anything but what their eyes see and their ears hear. They can explain how the universe works, but why it works, to the “why” question they close their eyes, ears, minds, and hearts….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “The Son of man hath not where to lay his head?

Behind the Scenes #4

Sunday, March 15, 2015

“The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations” (Psalm 33:11 KJV).

In the form of the Holy Bible, the Creator God has given us a “behind-the-scenes” look at creation! Will we humble ourselves to take a sneak-peak?

Today’s Scripture follows five verses (verses 6-10) that survey the Creation story of Genesis. Recall verse 6: “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3).

John 1:1-3 says: “[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] The same was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Verse 14 explains that the “Word,” the Creator, was none other than Jesus Christ.

Today’s Scripture says, “The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.” The God of the Bible had a plan in creation, and Scripture calls that plan “the counsel of the LORD.” It “standeth for ever.” In spite of what will happen, that purpose will still be brought to fruition. This plan contains “the thoughts of [the LORD’S] heart,” and He has made those thoughts known to “all generations.” As Psalm 100:5 says, “His truth endureth to all generations.”

What was and is Father God’s purpose in creation, His “counsel,” the “thoughts of His heart?” In the form of the Holy Bible, we have the instruction manual of creation, “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). God’s Holy Spirit caused those precious inspired words to be written centuries ago in Hebrew and Greek, He preserved them through history via manuscript copies, and He translated them into English so that we could have them today (the Authorized King James Bible).

While we can study the material world through scientific analyses, unless we use the Creator’s Manual, it is we who will have closed minds….

Instant Christians #7

Monday, January 12, 2015

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2 KJV).

In this day and age of “instant this and instant that,” we need more “instant” Christians!

Travelling out-of-state, I once had a very interesting conversation with an Evangelical seminarian-pastor who had a testimony of salvation in Christ. Meeting privately with this brother, I lovingly explained to him that the Greek New Testament he was preaching from was unreliable. Then, I showed him the error in his book, hoping he had an ear to hear and a heart to believe. Although I expected his reaction, I will never forget it. He blurted out to justify the error in his Bible, “We do not have what [Saint] Mark wrote anyway!”

Dear friends, he was no “cultic kook” but a “Bible-believing, Jesus-Christ-loving” preacher who would never, ever, ever even think of saying in his pulpit that today’s Bible is not—yes NOT—identical to the apostles’ Bible! (This heretical view of “textual criticism” drives the endless search for another manuscript reading “closer to the originals,” so another translation “more scholarly” [?] than its predecessors can be publi$hed.) Had this assembly and its deacons known their Bible, they would have asked this pastor the right questions before choosing him… to lead them “into the [doctrinal] ditch” (Matthew 15:14)! Friends, if most preachers spoke their true beliefs about Bible versions, they would agree with this wayward brother. Seminary has polluted them concerning manuscript evidence and Bible versions. Bible critics are the very people leading most “Christian” churches!

Had the Body of Christ studied, known, and appreciated/believed their 400-year-old King James Bible, they would have never purchased a century’s worth of 200 (pathetic, corrupt) modern English versions. They would have known that Satan questions God’s Word and robs mankind of its clarity at every opportunity (Genesis 3:1-5). Had the pastors educated their people in God’s English Bible, and warned them of counterfeits (2 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Peter 1:18–2:3), Bible publishing companies would have gone bankrupt, no one buying their worthless modern-speech perversions predicated on equally-godless manuscripts. Very few want to hear such strong language, but it is true nonetheless (2 Timothy 4:3,4).

Oh, how we NEED “instant” Christians….

Instant Christians #1

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2 KJV).

In this day and age of “instant this and instant that,” we need more “instant” Christians!

Today’s Scripture is a highlight from Paul’s farewell epistle. In this concluding treatise, the Holy Spirit presents the final marching orders to the Church the Body of Christ. Once this last epistle was written, the Bible’s canon was complete—all 66 inspired books were present as scrolls in the first century A.D., ready for copying and distribution to all saints everywhere. Since the penning of 2 Timothy, there has been no further revelation from God: today’s Scripture indicates that Timothy had a complete Bible, a complete divine revelation, and that he was to preach “the word” and nothing else.

According to 2 Timothy 3:15-17, verses previous to today’s Scripture, Timothy was to preach “the scripture” (written text), not “oral church tradition!” Yea, there would be no subsequent “development of doctrine through Sacred Tradition,” but rather depravity of doctrine through church tradition (clearly predicted in 1 Timothy chapter 4 and 2 Timothy chapters 3 and 4). According to 2 Timothy 1:15, apostasy had already infected and misled most Christians, even before Paul wrote that very letter! Few ever realize that the Body of Christ was doctrinally deficient, weak, confused, and deceived 2,000 years ago—even today, the Bible is pushed aside and church members read everything else.

As secular humanism grows stronger culturally, the Christians remain weak. Rather than learning God’s truth to preach it so people can have an alternative to error, church members stay silent (except for the whining about how deception runs rampant). How we grieve with the Holy Spirit that the church abounds with weak Christians! They are learning nothing solid in church meetings, just shallow messages that keep them happy (and ignorant of the deeper things of God’s Word). The cults and world religions thoroughly indoctrinate their members with nonsense, but they put most Christian pastors and members to shameful silence—they know more about their own holy books and our Bible than the Christians do of either!

Oh, how we need “instant” Christians….

A Bible That (Effectually) Works #1

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13 KJV).

If God’s Word is to “effectually work” in us, we must first have it.

“Today there are dozens of English Bible versions and many Spanish versions as well. Why so many? One reason is that languages constantly change. New words are always being added and others take on different meanings. Another reason is that Bible scholars are always learning new things about ancient Israel and the world of ancient Greece and Rome to help us better understand those times and people. No matter what Bible translation is used, however, the main purpose is to make the Bible reliable and understandable to those who want to read its message.

The above (misleading) quote was extracted from a “Bible society” book, supposedly written by “Bible experts.” If 200 modern English versions exist because “languages change,” why are they still selling ($ELLING) those published 10 to 50 or more years ago? Even that Bible publisher (whose book was quoted) has not produced a new Bible translation in years. Could the English language be changing so rapidly that we needed 150 to 200 Bible versions during the last century? Surely, us needing a new Bible every half-year or year is utterly ludicrous!

Interestingly, the Bible publishers above never educated the general public as to manuscript divergence (various manuscripts contradicting various others), the fact that people throughout history used these perverted manuscripts to counterfeit, challenge, supplant God’s Holy Bible. In their minds, and those of the gullible readers (who are instructed to think likewise), any Bible manuscript is “just as good as the next.” The historicity of false prophets, false apostles, false brethren, and false teachers, is totally disregarded. Dear friends, the issue is never modern language versus archaic language; it is which manuscripts are being translated. If it is not God’s Word, it will not “effectually work” in us. Hence, we uphold the King James Bible as God’s Word for us English-speaking people….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did Jesus Christ heal on the Sabbath days?