Nathaniel Ingelo, 1659, on the Credibility of Translations

And herein God shewed his care for the unlearned, who are the greater part of the world; for though they cannot read the Original, yet having a Translation, which, in that it is a Translation, agrees with the Original.1 They receive the same mind of God that the learned do. Why should any man be unsatisfied with this way of delivery, whereas Princes and States, in matters which they esteem greatest, receive proposals and Ambassadors by an interpreter? If to read, or bear these read, be not sufficient to direct us, what shall become of the blind, who can neither read Original or Translation? And if any think that say a great matter against Translations, when they affirm, That we know not the configuration of Hebrew and Greek words, but by the report of men. They may well say so of our Mother-tongue; for we know not that this word “Book” signifies, that which men commonly understand when they hear that word pronounced, but that they were told so; shall Englishmen for this same reason doubt, whether he can speak true English or no? or shall the child neglect his duty to his parents, whom he can know but by report? Behold how many ways can the divine Providence use one thing? The first division of tongues broke a foolish attempt of scaling the skies; this second furthered a noble design of lifting us up the right way to heaven. By the courtesy of so many Translations, the Holy Ghost appears again in cloven tongues. Those men which would make us believe the written word is no fit Rule, because everybody is skilled not in the Hebrew and Greek, do not only say that they are not a rule to us, but that there were not to the Jews or Grecians. For it is probable, that many Greeks could no more read Greek or Hebrew, than many can now read English: and how did they do? If we may be deceived by those which interpret, so might they by those which read.

1By Original, Ingelo, with 17th C. post-Reformation scholarship, is referring to the apographa, actual original language manuscripts within their possession.

Nathaniel Ingelo, The Perfection, Authority, and Credibility of the Holy Scriptures. Discoursed in a sermon before the University of Cambridge at the Commencement, July 4, 1658 (London: Printed by E.T. for Luke Fawn at the sign of the Parrot in Pauls Church-yard, 1659), 69-73.

Published by Dr. Peter Van Kleeck, Sr.

Dr. Peter William Van Kleeck, Sr. : B.A., Grand Rapids Baptist College, 1986; M.A.R., Westminster Theological Seminary, 1990; Th.M., Calvin Theological Seminary, 1998; D. Min, Bob Jones University, 2013. Dr. Van Kleeck was formerly the Director of the Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, Grand Rapids, MI, (1990-1994) lecturing, researching and writing in the defense of the Masoretic Hebrew text, Greek Received Text and King James Bible. His published works include, "Fundamentalism’s Folly?: A Bible Version Debate Case Study" (Grand Rapids: Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, 1998); “We have seen the future and we are not in it,” Trinity Review, (Mar. 99); “Andrew Willet (1562-1621: Reformed Interpretation of Scripture,” The Banner of Truth, (Mar. 99); "A Primer for the Public Preaching of the Song of Songs" (Outskirts Press, 2015). Dr. Van Kleeck is the pastor of the Providence Baptist Church in Manassas, VA where he has ministered for the past twenty-one years. He is married to his wife of 43 years, Annette, and has three married sons, one daughter and eighteen grandchildren.

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