Michael E. Thornsley

Editor’s note: This column originally ran on July 6, 2018.

The Bible has much to say about faith, and there are many misconceptions about faith. 

Faith is the basis of true religion. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him …” One of the battlegrounds of faith is faith in God’s word. 

Many have stated that God’s word, the Bible, is not perfect nor is it inspired but, rather, “it is a book with good morals but does not stand up to history nor science.” I do not have the space in these articles to speak to all these heretical fallacies, but the bottom line is if we cannot trust God to be truthful, then why believe any part of religious teachings? 

In the book of Romans Paul spoke to those who would put religious misunderstandings above God’s word. He said, “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar …” (Romans 3:4a). In Titus 1:2 we are told “… God, that cannot lie …” God is righteous. There is no sin in him. He cannot lie! 

So, why do so many “Christians” doubt his honesty when he said he gave us a perfect book? “The law of the Lord is perfect …” (Psalm 19:7a). “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever” (Psalm 119:160). There are many more references to the perfectness of God’s word. 

The devil has confused many as to what is the word of God. There are so many “Bibles” today, and they all teach different things. Therefore God commands his people to study in II Timothy 2:15. 

In the 1800s the devil used two men who, by their own writings, did not believe in the God of the Bible, in heaven, in hell, nor the fact that Jesus is God. These two men translated a “Bible” using a different manuscript than had ever been used by Baptists or Protestants. 

Instead of using the textus receptus (received text, called so because all Christians had received it as the word of God), they used two sets of manuscripts called the Sinaiticus and the Vaticanus. These are the text from which the Catholic “Bible” is translated. The translation became known as the Revised Standard Version (RSV). 

The two men? Brooke Westcott and Fenton Hort. From a letter written by Hort to Westcott in 1861: “… our text should be cast upon the world before we deal with matters likely to brand us with suspicion. I mean, a text, issued by men already known for what will undoubtedly be treated as dangerous heresy, will have great difficulties in finding its way to regions which it might otherwise hope to reach, and whence it would not be easily banished by subsequent alarms.” 

Does this sound like honest men? Yet, all modern versions are based upon their work. I think I will just, in faith, believe God and his word that has stood up to scrutiny for over 400 years, the King James Bible.

The Rev. Michael E. Thornsley is pastor of Old Paths Independent Baptist Church in Howard.

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