Before addressing a topic so fundamental as the doctrine of God, Francis Turretin begins his Institutes of Elenctic Theology with a discussion on the doctrine of Scripture. Turretin is writing in the third wave of the Reformation and the struggle over the certainty and authority of the Scriptures was still a hotly contested locus between the Protestants and Catholics.
In his second topic and second question, Turretin asks,
“Was it necessary for the word of God to be committed to writing? We affirm.”Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 1, Second Topic, Q. 2.
He goes on to remark on the three things which prove said necessity: “1.) the preservation of the word; 2.) its vindication; 3.) its propagation.” Turretin offers a summary of these three when he writes,
“It was necessary for a written word to be given to the church that the canon of true religious faith might be constant and unmoved; that it might easily be preserved pure and entire against the weakness of memory, the depravity of men, and the shortness of life; that it might be more certainly defended from the frauds and corruptions of Satan.”Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 1, Second Topic, Q. 2, Sec. VI.
Note the timely and relevant language here. Turretin, writing in 1696, acknowledges the weakness of memory which is an Achille’s Heal of mere oral tradition, the depravity of men to alter the word of God, the brevity of human life, and finally Satan himself as corruptors of the Scriptural text. For Turretin and the Reformers in general, the textual issues is at the bottom a moral, generational, and spiritual one.
Observe even further that although a great bit of artillery is aimed at “the canon of true religious faith” Turretin declare that the writing of Scripture “remains constant and unmoved.” The very writing of the Scriptures ensures for the Reformers an easy preserved, pure, and entire written word of God.
Simply put, we here at StandardSacredText.com hold to the same conclusion. God gave His word in written propositions easily, purely, and entirely. Those same propositions, by virtue of being God’s propositions, remain easily, purely, and entirely preserved in a single standard sacred text. We here at StandardSacredText.com hold that text to be the union of the Masoretic Hebrew Text of the Old Testament, and the 1881 Scrivener’s Greek New Testament. Regarding the English-speaking believing community. We believe the King James Version to be the standard sacred text for the English-speaking believing community.