Vol.IV No.XI Pg.4
January 1968

Story Of The Text... 11

Robert F. Turner

Our "Story of the Text" has taken us from God's word in inspired men, to the original written form of the inspired word; then from early Greek manuscripts, through translations and early versions, to the place of the majestic "King James" among these versions. Acknowledging the need for continuing critical studies, revisions, and current language versions, we have warned against "special interest" versions that use foot-notes, crossreference, etc., to carry their point; and, far more dangerous, that ignore the demands of verbal inspiration-translating (?) with a freeness that robs the ordinary English reader of portions of God's divine truth.

A combination of special sectarian interest (in notes and text itself) and highly prejudicial and unscholarly use of manuscripts, is seen in the New World Translation of Jehovah's(?) Witnesses. It is undoubtedly the best example of the worst text we've seen, from a "special interest" viewpoint. Many modern versions (RSV, NEV, etc.) SHOW OBVIOUS DISRESPECT FOR VERBAL INSPIRATION. It is far better to use the K. J. or ARV (American Revised, of 1901) with their "literalism"-- learning by familiarity with the text to properly interpret Bible "idioms and provincialisms' -- than to accept as "God's truth" some unbeliever's commentary on what he thinks was said.

In this series of articles we have dealt chiefly with external matters regarding the text. But even this abbreviated study would be incomplete without a consideration of the powerful "internal evidences" to be found -- even in "poor" texts of the Bible. Internal evidences for the integrity and credibility of the text are ample. (See McGarvey's Evidences of Christianity, for studentlevel study.) Nor should we avoid the confirmation of purely historical sources because someone cries "tradition:" (The valid historical sources that confirm first century scriptures, also confirm second and following centuries apostasy.) But another sort of internal evidence is "proof in the pudding;" the effect God's word has on those who seriously study and meditate upon it.

Just as it is possible, without knowing anything about manuscripts or J. W. doctrine, to observe prejudicial procedure in the N.W.T.; so the magnificent aspects of truth may be seen in versions of the Bible lacking much of the critical perfection for which serious students strive. This does not justify careless treatment of the text, but emphasizes the vast storage of divine wisdom found there; and the eternal nature of that anvil against which man's tiny hammers are crushed.

We have yet to appreciate, as we should, the power of the "glad tidings." I do not speak of the power of the Holy Spirit in delivering and confirming the gospel.. I refer to the unique power of the message of hope in Christ, to get to the heart of sinful man, and turn him about-- change his life. The gospel that God gave is peculiarly suited to the man that God made. This message is so simple, so direct, so thoroughly satisfying to the needs of an honest heart, that it shines through the veil placed upon it by the worst of man's blundering "versions." THIS MUST BE OF GOD.