Has the Bible Been Kept Pure?

Welcome to the Brickyard. This is a place to find quotes for use in your own research. The bricks are free but the building is up to you. The following quotes are from Garnet Howard Milne’s, Has the Bible Been Kept Pure? Confession of faith and the Providential Preservation of Scripture. Milne’s work quotes the Westminster Divine in order to give the reader an understanding of providential preservation during that time in Protestantism. Our brief focus will be on Daniel Featley who wrote in the mid-1600’s. He was both a Westminster Divine and also work on the translation of the King James Bible.

Concerning the language of jot and tittle in Matthew 5:18, Featley writes in a sermon entitled, The Lambe Turned Lion,

“If a skilfull Jeweler will not grind out a small spot, or cloud out of a rich stone, though it somewhat dimme the bright lustre thereof, because the substance is so precious; shall we lose, or sleightly passe by any Iota, or tittle of the Booke of God, which shall outlast the large volumes of the heavens? for heaven & earth shall passe away, but not one Iota, or tittle of the Word of God shall passe.”

Milne, Kept Pure, 137-138.

Featley does not take jot and tittle as a metaphor or hyperbole. He takes it to literally mean jot and tittle. Milne goes on to observe,

“For Featley the Scriptures are “‘the records of heaven, the deeds of Almighty God, and evidence of our salvation.'” He believed, therefore, that the Scriptures be possessed were ‘indited and penned’ by the Holy Spirit. They were of that degree of purity.”

Milne, Kept Pure, 139 [Italics: Mine]

Milne then goes on to quote Featley,

“Wherefore as in the interpretation of other inspired Scriptures, wee are humbly to intreat the assistance of the Inspirer, so more especially in the explication and application of this, which is not onely effective a spiritu, but also objective de spiritus, not only indited and penned (as all other) by the spirit, but also of the spirit.”

Milne, Kept Pure, 139

In sum, I offer you one of Milne’s many examples that it was the position of the Westminster Divines that the Scriptures held in their hand were indited [i.e., composed] and penned by the Holy Spirit Himself. And why are we to accept this interpretation of Scripture? Because the Holy Spirit inspired those same Scriptures and we call upon the Inspirer to interpret His own inspired words to us.

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