The Preserved Text
ON THE ROAD TO EMMAUS
by Bill Burkett
Principles vs. Higher Criticism
And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. 32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? Luke 24:27, 32.
As Jesus joined himself to Cleopas and another disciple as they were walking along the road to Emmaus in deep conversation about the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth in Jerusalem just three days prior, He listened quietly as they gestured and agonized over His death. I can see the stranger silently listening as they would become so engrossed in some important point they would stop and glare into each other’s eyes and stress their point using their hands to add emphasis with strong voice inflections trying to make their feelings felt as they spoke. Then they would start walking again but in deep thought until one of them would begin again to bring out another matter that had him confused.
The stranger, after listening to their conversation and noting they were very distraught and saddened by the events surrounding the crucifixion finally spoke asking the two men it was they were so sad about? The two men were alarmed that the stranger did not know about the crucifixion. After they described what happened to Jesus of Nazareth He scolded them for their ignorance of the Scriptures regarding the death of the man explaining everything from the Scripture beginning at Moses then through the Prophets and then finally the Psalms. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and entered into His glory? He asked them. They listened with great silence not daring to interrupt with even a question because this man, whoever He is, has a profound knowledge of the Scriptures!
Jesus surely quoted the Scriptures back to the fall of the human race more than 6000 years in the past and then quoting numerous prophecies by many of the prophets and from the prophecies of the Psalms answering all their queries bringing them up to the event of the crucifixion. Everything He said was making very good sense and quieted their souls. He had quoted Moses whose writings dated back more than 1400 years. So, Jesus quoted the Hebrew Scriptures He could quote with great assurance and confidence because He was the Word! He gave the Word to Moses and the prophets and to David. He knew the Scriptures He quoted were exactly the words that were given to Moses and all the prophets and to the psalmist, David and it is apparent that He knew they were then as they were given to the prophets and Moses because he did not modify anything that was written when He spoke! This means that God had preserved that Hebrew text and if He preserved the Hebrew text He surely preserved a Greek text!
Because He was the Son of God He spoke from the Scriptures with great certainty when He quoted the Words without reservation as they were given to the Moses and the prophets by the Spirit of God. Jesus was confident that it was the verbally inspired original text as given to Moses and the prophets and David when He quoted the Scriptures to Cleopas and his companion.
When He was tempted three times by Satan in the wilderness, three times he answered Satan’s challenges with what He apparently knew to be the incorruptible and uncorrupted Word of God. Again Jesus proved that God’s Word had retained its purity and power and its verbally given text as Satan fled from Him!
If Jesus quoted the Scripture from Genesis through the prophets and Psalms then it seems that Jesus was knowing that the Word He was quoting was pure and providentially preserved! It appears from the KJV English Bible text that God has a pure and preserved inspired Scriptural text that He is the author of and He certainly needs no help from corrupted men with corrupted manuscripts to help Him ascertain the authenticity of His manuscripts from the likes of such spiritual hooligans as Westcott and Hort and other New Testament higher criticism “experts.” These men have terrible bios!
Those who say God has lost the originals manuscripts are saying that the Living God “lost” something He authored and gave to man His divine and heavenly instructions through His prophets in writing and then lost it! How ridiculous to even think that the omniscient and eternal God either lost or could not protect His Word from being destroyed or corrupted by mere men. God’s Word is His vital line of communication with mankind and held closely under His Omnipresent eye with angelic powers ready to pounce and protect His Word from any and all efforts of Satan to distort His message. God’s Word as He gave it to man possesses certain eternal essential truths and explanations of His great plan of redemption, to restore the sinner by the reconciliation of the cross . . . and He lost it?! It was lost on His watch?! By faith I know HE DID NOT!
Jesus said, Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. Mark 13:31.
God’s son, the Word that was in the beginning with God and was God came falling downward like a stricken bird falling through space past moons and stars and planets, down from the heavens to redeem man to make a bond and connect intimately with man bringing His everlasting love to the inhabitants of earth and promising them they shall know the truth . . . but He lost the originals so all of that He thought to accomplish is threatened because according to these humanist theologians God lost the originals. God’s Word contains the only true revelations of God regarding all matters that reveal to man those things God wants man to know necessary for man’s eternal destiny . . . but God, according to human reason spoiled everything and He lost the originals manuscripts somewhere – maybe it was way back during the early Roman persecutions or the time of Marcion, or maybe it was later during the renaissance or the inquisition or maybe the Catholics succeeded in corrupting the genuine oracles – who knows when God lost the original manuscripts. Come to think of it, can He be God and lose something as important as His message and revelation of truth? Where was the Holy Spirit when God lost the original manuscripts? What happens to the believers concept of the heavenly Father when find out the God of omniscient omnipotence was not able to preserve His written Word to His people and lost the originals leaving to man the task to scrounge around and find remnants of the originals from caves and trash a trash bin in a monastery to put something together for God because He lost the originals somewhere along the way.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12. What a pity to think God lost the originals and we don’t know if this may not be in a later MS we haven’t found yet.
But the God I know is the God I know through His Word and He hasn’t lost anything and above all, He has not allowed one jot or tittle to be lost. Matthew 5:18. My Maker that I have learned to love has not let me down. I am commanded to obey His word. Would He require of me to obey His Word if He had lost it and we keep finding “older codices” to help us upgrade and revise the Word to be more accurate? How can God require me to obey His Word if He has lost the originals and don’t know if we have an accurate text? For me to live my daily life according to His Word it means that there must be a true and God-given Greek text out there somewhere that does not create confusion and have all of those little notes in the margins telling me that words and verses have been deleted because they are “not found in the oldest MSS”. No, you will never see those “little notes” in the Authorized King James Bible.
The Statement of Doctrine of the Dallas Theological Seminary states regarding what they believe about the Scripture; “We believe that this divine inspiration extends equally and fully to all parts of the historical writings, poetical, doctrinal, and prophetical–as appeared in the original manuscripts. We believe that the whole Bible in the originals is therefore without error.” Yes, they believe the originals were without error but do not tell you that they also believe God was not able to preserve His Word but He lost the originals and now we do not have them today. A very clever semantic to hide their true doctrinal belief and teaching on this subject. The Assemblies of God seminary, Springfield, MO, and many other evangelical seminaries also teach this apostate form of Textual Criticism, that God has lost the originals.
Just as our secular Universities are turning out humanist kids, so are the seminaries today turning out humanistic theologians teaching them we do not have a preserved Greek text and refusing to teach the evidence that we DO have majority Greek text and the reasons why it is believed by many very highly educated theologians.
In reality and according to mountains of evidence the majority Greek text is the oldest in spite of their saying it is not. There is new conclusive evidence you will learn about as you continue to read that some of the MSS (manuscripts) in the KJV “could very well be originals.” This is the theology of higher Criticism that came out of Christ denying modernism back in 50’s when modernism took over the Methodist seminaries. The church called their pastors back to seminary to re-educate them in modernism. I was in Rome, New York at pastor darling church when a group of Methodist pastors from the seminary filed into my meeting. After that service that night they invited me for to go with them for a discussion. They poured their hearts out to me revealing how the modernists had taken over the church and were re-educating the pastors in modernism theology. For months I met with these men to encourage them to remain faithful to the apostle’s doctrine. It was from that rise of modernism in the early 50’s that many of the humanistic doctrines that have now entered fundamental and evangelical seminaries originated. Higher criticism was one of those liberal changes to bring many fundamental churches down. This doctrine is extra-biblical, that is, it does not have even a slight Scriptural endorsement to lend it any authority. God’s Word authored by God the Holy Ghost never speaks of God’s Word being “lost” over time. To the contrary, the Lord and other writers dogmatically assert the very opposite.
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. Isaiah 40:8.
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. Matthew 24:3.
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:11.
The idea that God lost the original manuscripts is based on faith in the sciences rather than faith in in what the Scripture says about itself. God has been preserved His Word for mankind for 6018 years from the Genesis creation up to the present. The higher criticism depends on scientific criteria to determine the truthfulness of God’s Word such as the carbon 14 dating (which some scientists say is faulty), and the dating of scrolls discovered in recent decades. True to the Word fundamentalists choose to put their faith in Scriptural criteria which we shall now consider on these pages.
We must mention the fact that the science of higher criticism also examines the writing form of the codices they find because the Greek text from the early Byzantine Eastern church were all Greek MSS and agreed with each other in similarity where the western manuscripts did not agree with each other. This was evidence that men had tampered with the original and that the western text could not be trusted. The eastern MSS were much less corrupted than the western MSS mostly written in Latin, the language of the Catholic church of the West. But now, as you will discover here, the argument that recently found MSS are older than the Majority text is not true as thought for decades.
Note how they refer to the “original manuscripts.” in their Statement of Faith above; “We believe that this divine inspiration extends equally and fully to all parts of the writings – as appeared in the original manuscripts.” These neo evangelicals refer to “the original manuscripts”, but teach that the “original manuscripts are lost and we do not have the “original manuscripts.” This is so worded to leave a wrong impression that, they believe there were “original manuscripts” but they are lost and we do not have them today, nor has God providentially preserved them and that we therefore do not have the originals. These theologians are not men of faith but men of falsehood! Truth is to present all the facts in such a way that you leave a right a right impression.
We want to know how these textual authorities can possible reconcile God’s omniscience with His losing the original manuscripts. These theological intellectuals who place their faith in science and deny God’s ability to preserve the Scriptures are to be faulted on this point because if God is able to preserve the Scriptures and did not, then that means God was derelict in preserving these revelations for the church allowing them to be lost. How could God “lose” anything as important as His Word?! For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Matthew 5:18.
If faith is the evidence of things not seen these people have neither element of faith; (1) They do not take into account all of the facts regarding the evidence that God has indeed preserved the Greek text as strong evidence shows. They choose rather to believe the natural assumption that God lost the originals because He was not able to preserve them. This would be humorous if was not so tragic for the fate of those who refuse to believe the evidence that God has providentially preserved the Word of God. That is the mindset of faith. (2) The apostate modernist is the original source that God has not preserved the original text. This writer has read large amounts of material written by the higher criticism people and its all natural assumption without one ounce of faith or credibility given to the things Scripture says of itself and that Scripture has stated on the treatment of the subject. Naturalism is not capable of faith or treating empirical matters of Christian doctrine and Bibliocentric matters – and especially where God’s Word has already treated that subject.
Jesus often pointed to the scriptures using the ancient writings of Moses, the prophets and the Psalms as His authority. Granted that the Old Testament writings were preserved by the strict laws of the Jews in recording genealogies and events for posterity – BUT, if God the Holy Ghost preserved those writings providentially in spite of Jerusalem being burned to the ground and sacked according to Josephus one million Jews were slaughtered by the Roman siege in AD 70 and the rest disbursed to slavery in Rome and other nations over the world. The temple furniture and large libraries were burned and destroyed – and yet God preserved the Hebrew Scriptures through all of this historical tumult through the centuries! So, can God preserve His Word? Can He? He did!
Are these apostate intellectual theologian brainiacs going to tell us now that God has not preserved His Word through 2000 years of church history when we have good reason to know He has already preserved the words of Moses and the account of creation 4005 years! Jesus and the apostles have quoted the preserved Scriptures of both the Old Testament and the New Testament without a flinch or sign of doubt about them being verbally reliable as original. Nor does the Scripture itself one time infer in the slightest way that the Scriptures as they had been kept and preserved by God in ages past become affected or corrupted or untrustworthy. Those little marginal notes in many of the newer translations prove one thing; that the translators do not believe there is a Bible that God has preserved.
But the fact that Scripture itself does not have one snitch, one word, indicating the originals will be lost is a silence that indicates that God is not playing games with mankind or the church leaving it to us to find the true verbally inspired Word of God.
The “originals lost” doctrine is peculiar to the apostate church period.
In Acts 3 Peter stood up and preached Christ to the Passover crowd that also took part in spurning Christ and joined the temple priests and Roman Praetorian guard in putting Jesus to death. Peter told them, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: (Acts 2:23) and three thousand repented. In that Pentecost message Peter quoted 10 scriptures from the Old Testament that God had preserved until that day! The Word of God that Jesus and Peter quoted as being the pure preserved text of the Hebrew from Moses to that time; AD 29 had been preserved through fire, defeat and the judgments of God from Moses (Exodus 1) to the cross for 1491 years. Liberal intellectuals have created the idea of “lost manuscripts” because they did not have the faith to believe that God’s omniscience could be trusted to preserve the Holy Scriptures.
The Lord and Paul also referred to the creation in the beginning several times referring to the word of Moses who gave us that history from the beginning 4005 years before the Passover! Just reviewing these time periods between Genesis and the cross would prove God’s preserving power!
Luke 18:31-33; 20:42; Acts1:20.
And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Luke 24:44.
The issue of God’s providential preservation of having the weight of evidence on its side is much like the global warming issue. The popular press and the money people accentuate the idea that God lost the originals and eliminate (scoff) at the huge stack of evidence in favor of the Majority Text being the preserved Greek text. But those who love the truth that is by faith are familiar with the facts that God has preserved His Word that is in that group of ancient Greek MSS where the same text appears the same in the majority of manuscripts. This was the wise method used by the more than 50 language scholars in 1611 to determine the true Greek texts. Probably the most elite collection of language scholars ever brought to together for a translation of the Greek and Hebrew text of the Bible. But now the higher criticism modernists want to add the age of the MS and where the MS came from to the criteria. However, Harry A. Sturz of Grace Seminary, Winona Lake, IN, in his book The Byzantine Text Type & New Testament Textual Criticism provides conclusive evidence to the contrary as an expert in the form of Greek used in the writings of the Majority text MSS. According to a professor of theology at Cambridge University, Cambridge, England, the Sturz book does prove that the style of Greek writing found in the Majority text MSS could very well date back to the time of Christ! This professor and expert on New Testament Greek writes an endorsement printed on the dust cover of Stutz’ book declaring that the evidence provided in the Sturz book indicates the Byzantine Greek text type used in the MSS in the Majority text from which our KJV bible has been translated “could very well be originals. (!!!!)
But the seminaries who believe the rubbish they have been pandering off on the Christian community along with the publishers are not going to backtrack and take the truth into account. The translation industry has made a lot of money on Christians by printing up scores of translations that a new ancient MS may be made into another translation for more sales. Unfortunately Christians are lazy students of the Scripture depending on the pastor or televangelist for what the scripture says. Most ministers in the day we live in do not give a hang about pure doctrine but only think in terms of numbers and bread and butter!
Christians today only want a Bible that is easy to read and on that fact the publishers are making a mint on every new translation and fools out of the consumers. Christians are not interested in having a Bible text that is true to the Greek text but only that it is readable.
The bottom line: If you want to have the literal Word of God translated from the Greek text God has providentially preserved for the church, just stick with the Authorized Version of the King James Bible.
Be very careful of wording like the above that keeps referring to, “The original manuscripts.” This is deceptive terminology is a term that does not tell you they believe we do have the original manuscripts leaving you with a wrong impression that they do and they are carefully use the term of original manuscripts referring to the originals implying that we do have the originals. The idea that an older MS is more accurate because it is older is foolishness! This theory would mean that the older a man is the “gooder” he must be – that there are no bad old men.
There were almost 1000 fraudulent letters with false signatures of the apostles and badly copied letters of the apostles circulating in the early church that caused the church fathers to gather together a large collection of manuscripts written only by men who lived contemporary with Jesus of Nazareth. The standard they followed was strict and carried out in an effort to provide the most authentic manuscripts available to provide a trustworthy collection of manuscripts. The other characteristic they looked for was that these Greek manuscripts had to agree with each other without deviations of the same accounts. The more recent manuscripts the liberal theologians of higher criticism have been finding and using to make new translations (for publishing profits) are full of differing expressions between the MSS they have been finding! No two agree. This is not the case with the majority Greek MSS the KJV translators used. I would leave you with this final note if you’re interested in knowing all the facts the higher criticism people leave out of all their high sounding talk, I highly recommend that you read the extremely well documented book, Final Authority by William P. Grady – 400 pages, an excellent and authoritative account of the history of God’s preserved Greek text from which our English Authorized KJV as translated – just outstandingly informative!