The Bible

The Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible and authoritative word of God.

Churches which removed the inerrancy clause from their doctrinal statement and believe that the bible contains errors are creating a “hermeneutic of suspicion” towards the word of God.

The Bible is free from historical, scientific, and theological errors.

I tentatively accept the Byzantine textform as the most faithful and accurate copy of the original New Testament autographs.

By contrast, the Nestle-Aland version of the Greek New Testament (27th ed. 1993) which is the same text as the United Bible Societies Greek New Testament (4th ed. 1994) appears to contain numerous errors and omissions. It is known as the “critical text” and is a shorter version than the Byzantine. For the most part it follows the Westcott-Hort critical text published in 1881 which relied heavily upon codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus both from the fourth century A.D.

I am not a King James Only advocate. The King James version contains numerous errors that need to be
corrected. It is based upon the “Received Text” which is very close to the Greek text published by Erasmus in 1516. However, only a small number of Greek manuscripts were available to Erasmus which limited his ability to produced an accurate text. The “Received Text” or “Textus Receptus” has approximately five thousand differences with the “critical text” and that is considered rather substantial.

An alternative to the “Received Text” is “The Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text” (1982) by Zane Hodges and Arthur Farstad. This text was considered tentative and has subsequently been shown to contains errors.

Another text is “The New Testament in the Original Greek: Byzantine Textform” by Maurice Robinson and William Pierpont (Chilton Book Publishing 2005). This is probably the most accurate text of the New Testament available.  For an English translation, Gary Zeolla's “Analytical-Literal Translation of the New Testament” (3rd ed. 2012) is a helpful companion to Robinson's Greek text. While it is not a smooth translation and appears a bit wooden at times, it does preserve the literalness.

The Byzantine text is longer than the “critical text” published by the United Bible society and therein lies much of the controversy. The critical text brackets certain verses such as the ending in Mark and does not consider it part of the original autographs. But based upon the Byzantine text, Robinson correctly argues the the ending in Mark should be considered inspired scripture.

The similarities between the Greek manuscripts outweigh the differences by a wide margin. There is
approximately 85 percent agreement between the 5000 Greek manuscripts. I am confident and accept on faith that the entirely of the original autographs are among the extant Greek manuscripts. The restoration of the original autographs remains an ongoing project.

While I have a personal preference for the King James Bible, I am aware of the fact that it does contain translation errors such as the omission of the sacred name in over seven thousand places in the Old Testament. And yet I still consider the King James Bible to be the finest translation in the English language.