Sundry Times and Diverse Manners

We are in agreement with our opposition that the revealed word of God has come down to us today in different forms, iterations, and refinements. Where is seems we disagree is on the point that many forms, iteration, and refinements cannot all be the word of God at the same time and in the same way.

At one point all that existed of the written words of God were the first five books written by Moses, but not long after that we get the book of Joshua then Judges and on and on until the whole Old Testament was complete. At the time of Moses, the Pentateuch was the written canon of Scripture but by the time of Ezra it was not. The Pentateuch was only a portion of the canon. To say that the Pentateuch was the whole canon at the time of Ezra would be to reject God’s revealed word in the other 34 books of the OT. Then for the entire intertestimental period, the canon of Scripture was those 39 books of the OT.

Then about half way through the first century AD the first book of the NT canon was written. Most think that I Corinthians was that book. At that point the canon was the OT and 1 Corinthians. Then 20 or so years later we get the Gospels and by the end of the first century all of the books of the NT were written, thus adding to the original 39 OT books, the 27 NT books.

If at any point we are to say that the Pentateuch is the whole canon or the OT is the whole canon or the OT + 1 Corinthians is the whole canon then we would be rejecting the word of God as it appears in the other books of the NT.

We now exist in an ecclesiastical climate where the question is not one of whole books but of whole passages, whole verses, and whole words, but it is still the same kind of animal. We are being told that different forms, iteration, and refinements of the English Bible are equally the whole of God’s canonical word because they are sufficiently reliable for salvation or some such low bar. This is no different in principle than saying, “The Pentateuch alone is the whole of God’s canonical word because it is sufficiently reliable for salvation.” The primary difference between these two statements is merely one of quantity of words.

The point is that we have become Marcionites. Now, we don’t, as Marcion did, remove words from Scripture because we think the God of the OT is not the Christian God. Rather, we remove words from Scripture because scholar’s think the Church should think material like the story of the woman caught in adultery should not be in the Bible.

So we proliferate versions of the Bible in English in order to proliferate the image of intellectual man via syncretism all the while saying that different forms, iterations, and refinements are equally God’s word all at the same time. Most evangelicals wouldn’t dare remove God from the picture but they most certainly would and do come right along side of God and assert their scholarly interpretation of the manuscript evidence while informing us that it is both godly and intellectual to accept their opinion.

In sum, on the one hand, scholarship believes itself to have become the mouthpiece of God. How? They claim to have the power, implicitly and explicitly, to tell the Church what is or is not the New Testament and therefore what is or is not the word of God. We, on the other hand, believe much of the modern evangelical text-critical machine to be in this regard something more approximate to the mouthpiece of Sauron.

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