CARMS on their Final Authority
The written Word of God is our final authority in all matters of which It speaks, for It is God's final revelation to man. The Bible is God's trustworthy, authoritative Book, and no more is to be added thereto.
The Holy Spirit supernaturally inspired the writers of the 39 books of the Old Testament to record the very words God desired His people to possess (2 Pet. 1: 2 1).
Likewise, the prophetic promise Jesus Christ made to His disciples (soon to be the apostles and writers of the 27 books of the New Testament) restated the same divine operation of inspiration, for the Holy Spirit later also guided these men "into all truth" (Jn. 16:12-15). "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Tim. 3:16, 17), and that inspired Scripture encompasses nothing more, nor anything less, than the 66 books of the Bible, the completed canon of Scripture. [But, the Bible does not say that! This paragraph is filled with facile arguments]
2 Peter 3:2 tells us that if we want to know God's Word, then we are to look nowhere other * than to the "words which were spoken before by the holy prophets [O. T. Scripture], and of the commandments of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour [N.T. Scripture]."
* The word 'scripture' in Greek refers to all writings and not specifically religious writings.
God's Word [sic] provides us with all we need to be built up in the faith and to do God's will and work - God gave no additional revelation once the Bible was completed. The inspired writings of the apostles, circulated among the churches and later canonized, were perfect and complete (Lk. 1: 1-4; 1 Cor. 14:37; Eph. 3:1-7; 1 Thess. 2:13; Rev. 22:18, 19).
That this was not so is attested by the fact that the Church could not agree on which were to be canonised and which were to be omitted.
The internal evidence of the Word of God states without equivocation that believers today have a final authority - God's Written Word. [But the Bible does not say that!]
Since the completion of the canon of Scripture, no additional divine revelation has come through any "latter day prophets," charismatic dreamers, cult authorities or the tradition/Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church, as Pope John Paul II has reinforced in a recent encyclical. [No reference. Why not?]
With the passing of the original disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ (the apostles who penned the 27 books of the New Testament) [Some NT writers were NOT Apostles!, for example, Luke and Mark], the partial revelation ceased and "that which is perfect"-the Written Word of the Living God-was come. "That which is in part" was done away (1 Cor. 13:8-12).
With the passing of the apostles and the subsequent completion of the canon, no more revelation came from God. It is essential, therefore, that we earnestly contend for the faith "once delivered" (past tense) and against any attempt to claim an authority for faith and practice other than God's Word, the 66 books of the Bible.
Remember, Timothy's household did not have the "original autographs," but the copies they had were designated by God as "the holy scriptures" (2 Tim. 3:14, 15). Likewise, Paul commended the Ephesian elders to the "word of his grace, which is able to build you up..." (Acts 20:27, 32).
CARM says: the copies of original Bible documents Timothy's household had were designated by God as "the holy scriptures" They offer no evidence that this is actually the case. Paul refers to 'scruiptures,' but the word was the common word for writings in general and was not necessarily confined to sacred writings. It would be tautological for Paul to recommend the Hebrew scriptures to Timothy as 'profitable' because he was be well acquainted with the Tanak and with their purpose. The reason being that Timothy had a Greek father but he was born of a Jewish mother, which is the determinant of Jewishness, and, according to 2 Timothy 3:15, Timothy had been taught the Old Testament scriptures from his childhood. It is almost certain that, like most jews, Paul considered pagan writings that were noral to be inspired by the Great Jehovah. It is likely that Paul was emphasising to his pupil; the importance of being well read and informed rather than urging him to read the Jewish sacred writings that he was already reading.
We can have confidence today that we have a Bible that is the holy Word of God in the Authorized (King James) Version.
Not all Christians agree with CARM's exaggerated and unproven claims. For example, Marion H. Reynolds, Jr. and Dennis W. Costella of the Fundamental Evangelistic Association make the case that:
A problem developed, however, with the 20th century's proliferation of new Bible versions. It became necessary to study the history of the English Bible and the Greek text which had been used down through the centuries and compare that text with the claims of the "higher critics" who championed the minority text upon which the new versions are based.
After careful study of the subject, the FEA concluded that the Textus Receptus, the underlying text upon which the Authorized King James Version is based, is the providentially preserved Greek text. The Textus Receptus was derived from the majority family of manuscripts used in the Greek-speaking church down through the centuries. This text was the divinely preserved text - an accurate rendition of the very originals (miraculously inspired by the Holy Spirit) written by the apostles, and, in the Hebrew tongue, by the Old Testament prophets. The Masoretic text of the Old Testament and the Textus Receptus of the New Testament are, in reality, the divinely preserved texts of the divinely inspired original writings.
[Apparently God has miraculously preserved no fewer that 2400 variants of Marks Gospel!]
But now, another problem has arisen within the last few decades. An element of those who were strong defenders of the inerrancy and veracity of the Authorized Version, used and blessed by God in the English-speaking world for well over 300 years, began to advance the idea that the KJV English translation is superior to the Greek and Hebrew texts and that the King James translators were themselves inspired by the Holy Spirit in producing their translation.
As a result of this proposal, they claim that the English King James translation has been miraculously inspired just as the original autographs themselves were inspired. This false teaching even assumed the newly ascribed authority to correct the underlying Greek and Hebrew text from which it was translated.
What we have by this proposed phenomenon is what is often known as "double inspiration" - the original writings of the prophets and the apostles consist of the first "inspiration," and the second work of "inspiration" occurred when the King James translators produced the English Authorized Version in 1611. Certainly the King James translators were the best scholars ever assembled to produce a translation that we can hold up today as our authoritative, trustworthy translation; but were those esteemed translators "inspired" in the biblical sense? Absolutely not!
We cannot accept this conjecture, for the- concept of a superior English text or of "double inspiration" completely denies what the Bible Itself teaches about its own initial inspiration by the miraculous operation of the Holy Spirit and its promised preservation through each successive generation.
No, the English-speaking world is not the sole proprietor of the Word of God. Other nations and languages can also boast an accurate, trustworthy translation of the Word of God from the Greek Textus Receptus and the Hebrew Masoretic text.
It is the conviction of the FEA that the Authorized Version should be the standard and final authority for the English speaking world for two reasons: First, because it is based on the Masoretic Text and the Textus Receptus, and second, because it, is an accurate, literal (formal, word-for-word) translation of the aforementioned Greek and Hebrew texts (that is, the translation of the text is literal, as much as is possible of any translation from one language to another).
We must reject the teaching of those who claim the KJV is full of errors, [Even when these can be clearly and unequivocally demonstrated?] yet we must also reject the teaching of those "KJV-only" proponents who claim that the KJV is in itself inspired and superior to the underlying Hebrew and Greek texts. Notice the following timely words by Pastor M. H. Reynolds, Jr., which accurately sum up the Biblical position regarding inspiration and preservation:
We are sometimes accused of believing in "double inspiration" or "continuing revelation," i.e., that the King James translators were divinely inspired in the same way as were the original human writers of the books of the Bible. Not so! The use of these terms amounts to a dishonest misrepresentation of what we believe. The miracle of inspiration applies only to the initial giving of the Word of God to the writers of the autographs (all of which are no longer in existence). But we also believe that the Bible Itself teaches and the history of manuscript evidence supports the contention that the miracle of initial inspiration extends to the divinely superintended preservation of a pure text to this day. We have, therefore, an inspired Bible today in the sense that it is the accurate translation of the text once and finally inspired by God and recorded in the "original autographs," the majority text used down through the centuries in the Greek church. Be wary of any opponent of the KJV who contrives impressive sounding buzz words to misrepresent what the defenders of the Authorized Version actually believe.
From the FEA publication 'Modern Bibles-the Dark Secret' by Pastor Moorman, wonderfully used of God to defend the Authorized Version and to debunk the credibility of the other versions, the concluding paragraph reads:
It is not impossible that in the providence of God another universally accepted standard translation could be produced. However, given the lateness of the hour, the lack of spiritual scholarship, and the fact that our language no longer has the depth and vitality it once had, this seems most unlikely. All indications point to the KJV as the Bible God would have His people use in these last days before the Second Coming of Christ.
The Old Testament Scriptures were to accomplish one central purpose-to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 24:25-27). The same is true of the New Testament as well (John 16:14). Those who undermine the authority and accuracy of the Authorized Version only cause God's people to lack a confidence in His Message and the impeccability of Christ and His finished Work. This certainly does not advance the purpose of God-to glorify His dear Son and to cause His children to have absolute confidence in His final and complete Revelation. Praise God, He has given to us His Word, and we have before us in the English language the Authorized King James Bible, a literal, accurate translation of the very words God breathed in His Revelation to man.
This now, according to the logic of Mr Slick of CARM.org is what ALL non-Mormon Christians actually believe. Yeah, right, Mr Slick!