Inspiration, Canonicity, KJV

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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Can you explain how something can be the Word of God and not be inspired?

The Protestant understanding is that, insofar as the translations are a faithful representation of the original, they have the quality of being the inspired Word of God. This quality of inspiration is mediated via the process of translation.

Nobody is claiming that the translators themselves were inspired; but they were translating inspired words. Where the translations are accurate, they carry the authoritative quality of the originals.
The translations are infallible witnesses to the originals, but none of them were inspired, nor perfect.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
So you don't believe we have the inspired Word at all? I'd advise you to reexamine that. That's not the Protestant doctrine of the Word. Read Steve's post on God's providential preservation of the Scriptures. That's the doctrine of all the Calvinistic confessions.
No, I believe that we now have the infallible word of god due to them being very close to the originals, but once again, no translation can claim direct inspiration in their creation process.
We have an infallible version, but the originals were inerrant.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
No, I believe that we now have the infallible word of god due to them being very close to the originals, but once again, no translation can claim direct inspiration in their creation process.
We have an infallible version, but the originals were inerrant.
Nobody is claiming direct inspiration for translations--only mediate inspiration.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
David, you appear not to listen or read very closely. "Mediate" in the sense we are using here, means something to be conveyed through an intermediate source to another location while retaining its essential character.

Have you not been able to read and understand the quotes from theologians on this topic that Scott Bushey gave in posts 45-63?

What is mediate as distinguished from immediate in our discussion? Inspiration of the original Scripture is immediate, that is, direct, from God. An example of mediate inspiration is the essential content of direct inspiration conveyed indirectly—by faithfully reproducing its essence via translation—into another language.

I do go into this in my post 86. Did you not take the time to consider that? I would read this, and the posts of others (like Scott's), before continuing. I don't want to think that you are dragging this discussion along merely to rack up more posts so as to boost your standing. I want to be gentle in this, but you glaringly display that your "Senior" posts rating is merely inflated by your style of terse and unscholarly—I should also say glib—discussion, and that many with Freshman rating are way more knowledgeable than you on many topics. When I listen to your ill-informed arguments, I still think of you as a Freshman in a posting frenzy so as to make a "name" for yourself.

I consider you a brother in Christ, but to speak the truth to you in love is necessary. Be quick to hear, slow to speak. Study, buy and read good books, listen to the learned, so that you grow in understanding.

When I come across a topic being discussed that is beyond my comprehension (which is often), I quietly listen in and try to learn. I have learned a lot here at PB, keeping my mouth shut, and my eyes and mind open. I am really very ignorant in certain areas, and the only way I can remedy that is to admit my limitations and seek understanding. I have often bought materials so as to help in that.

This is a learning and teaching environment for many of us. Your style and behavior are anomalous to the spirit of this board. There are "Freshmen" here who are way more advanced in many areas than I, and when they speak I listen, and ponder. They simply don't post unless they have something to say. Yet their names are highly esteemed (not their posts record) for their learnedness is obvious. You ought to aim for that kind of reputation, and not the one you're getting.

I am very busy, with many responsibilities, and I do not like such rather obvious topics (though we may disagree in areas) to be dragged out needlessly, as I consider you to be doing. Find some other past-time if you must make "busy-work" for yourself, but don't waste the time of those who have other serious work to do. Please.
 
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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
David, you appear not to listen or read very closely. "Mediate" in the sense we are using here, means something to be conveyed through an intermediate source to another location while retaining its essential character.

Have you not been able to read and understand the quotes from theologians on this topic that Scott Bushey gave in posts 45-63?

What is mediate as distinguished from immediate in our discussion? Inspiration of the original Scripture is immediate, that is, direct, from God. An example of mediate inspiration is the essential content of direct inspiration conveyed indirectly—by faithfully reproducing its essence via translation—into another language.

I do go into this in my post 86. Did you not take the time to consider that? I would read this, and the posts of others (like Scott's), before continuing. I don't want to think that you are dragging this discussion along merely to rack up more posts so as to boost your standing. I want to be gentle in this, but you glaringly display that your "Senior" posts rating is merely inflated by your style of terse and unscholarly—I should also say glib—discussion, and that many with Freshman rating are way more knowledgeable than you on many topics. When I listen to your ill-informed arguments, I still think of you as a Freshman in a posting frenzy so as to make a "name" for yourself.

I consider you a brother in Christ, but to speak the truth to you in love is necessary. Be quick to hear, slow to speak. Study, buy and read good books, listen to the learned, so that you grow in understanding.

When I come across a topic being discussed that is beyond my comprehension (which is often), I quietly listen in and try to learn. I have learned a lot here at PB, keeping my mouth shut, and my eyes and mind open. I am really very ignorant in certain areas, and the only way I can remedy that is to admit my limitations and seek understanding. I have often bought materials so as to help in that.

This is a learning and teaching environment for many of us. Your style and behavior are anomalous to the spirit of this board. There are "Freshmen" here who are way more advanced in many areas than I, and when they speak I listen, and ponder. They simply don't post unless they have something to say. Yet their names are highly esteemed (not their posts record) for their learnedness is obvious. You ought to aim for that kind of reputation, and not the one you're getting.

I am very busy, with many responsibilities, and I do not like such rather obvious topics (though we may disagree in areas) to be dragged out needlessly, as I consider you to be doing. Find some other past-time if you must make "busy-work" for yourself, but don't waste the time of those who have other serious work to do. Please.
If we use that term to mediate inspiration to mean that the translation is valid and the word of God to us dueto being translated from the original language source texts, I agree with that, but was just suggesting that there are no perfect translation, as inspiration like the Apostles had to be able to record down without errors/mistakes t all did not carry over from them.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
You're still not getting it; Again, if it is the W of G, it has to be inspired. All translations carry over the intended inspiration that God commanded when the commission was given. The translations are not inspired in an absolute sense, they are the means of giving the scriptures to all tongues, tribes and nations, but they are inspired in that the word of God is there in these translations.

To the original penners of the Old and NT, immediately inspired.
In the translations, mediately.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Example: Take the word "THE" in Hebrew or Greek. Would u say that this word is accurate with the autographs? If so, is this word inspired?
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
You're still not getting it; Again, if it is the W of G, it has to be inspired. All translations carry over the intended inspiration that God commanded when the commission was given. The translations are not inspired in an absolute sense, they are the means of giving the scriptures to all tongues, tribes and nations, but they are inspired in that the word of God is there in these translations.

To the original penners of the Old and NT, immediately inspired.
In the translations, mediately.
The Originals were without any errors/mistakes within them, but no translation can claim that.
We do not need a perfect translation to have the word of God to us.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
David, you appear not to listen or read very closely. "Mediate" in the sense we are using here, means something to be conveyed through an intermediate source to another location while retaining its essential character.

Have you not been able to read and understand the quotes from theologians on this topic that Scott Bushey gave in posts 45-63?

What is mediate as distinguished from immediate in our discussion? Inspiration of the original Scripture is immediate, that is, direct, from God. An example of mediate inspiration is the essential content of direct inspiration conveyed indirectly—by faithfully reproducing its essence via translation—into another language.

I do go into this in my post 86. Did you not take the time to consider that? I would read this, and the posts of others (like Scott's), before continuing. I don't want to think that you are dragging this discussion along merely to rack up more posts so as to boost your standing. I want to be gentle in this, but you glaringly display that your "Senior" posts rating is merely inflated by your style of terse and unscholarly—I should also say glib—discussion, and that many with Freshman rating are way more knowledgeable than you on many topics. When I listen to your ill-informed arguments, I still think of you as a Freshman in a posting frenzy so as to make a "name" for yourself.

I consider you a brother in Christ, but to speak the truth to you in love is necessary. Be quick to hear, slow to speak. Study, buy and read good books, listen to the learned, so that you grow in understanding.

When I come across a topic being discussed that is beyond my comprehension (which is often), I quietly listen in and try to learn. I have learned a lot here at PB, keeping my mouth shut, and my eyes and mind open. I am really very ignorant in certain areas, and the only way I can remedy that is to admit my limitations and seek understanding. I have often bought materials so as to help in that.

This is a learning and teaching environment for many of us. Your style and behavior are anomalous to the spirit of this board. There are "Freshmen" here who are way more advanced in many areas than I, and when they speak I listen, and ponder. They simply don't post unless they have something to say. Yet their names are highly esteemed (not their posts record) for their learnedness is obvious. You ought to aim for that kind of reputation, and not the one you're getting.

I am very busy, with many responsibilities, and I do not like such rather obvious topics (though we may disagree in areas) to be dragged out needlessly, as I consider you to be doing. Find some other past-time if you must make "busy-work" for yourself, but don't waste the time of those who have other serious work to do. Please.
I really do appreciate your grace shown to me in this posting, and will try to do better in my postings.
You do not see any translation as being perfect would you?
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
I really do appreciate your grace shown to me in this posting, and will try to do better in my postings.
You do not see any translation as being perfect would you?
The Originals were without any errors/mistakes within them, but no translation can claim that.
We do not need a perfect translation to have the word of God to us.

David,
Nobody on this thread has claimed that any of our translations are perfect--I would be surprised if anyone here were to make that claim. I'm not really sure where you got that idea.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
David,
Nobody on this thread has claimed that any of our translations are perfect--I would be surprised if anyone here were to make that claim. I'm not really sure where you got that idea.
I am not saying that anyone here is, but there does seem to be many that view anything not translated from TR as being dubious, as modern versions that use Critical Greek text are worse than due to that?
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
I am not saying that anyone here is, but there does seem to be many that view anything not translated from TR as being dubious, as modern versions that use Critical Greek text are worse than due to that?
The TR has undergone many editions--the idea that any one edition is flawless is untenable. However, some of us are convinced that the NA/USB texts are inferior to the traditional text.

However, you seem to be confusing the issues of textual criticism and translation--we were talking about the authority of the English translations stemming from them being a faithful representation of the Greek or Hebrew; what Greek text is to be preferred is a different matter.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
No, I believe that we now have the infallible word of god due to them being very close to the originals, but once again, no translation can claim direct inspiration in their creation process.
We have an infallible version, but the originals were inerrant.

This doesn't even make sense, David. Infallible and inerrant mean the same thing. Also, you have absolutely no proof that there are no translations which were copied from the original....none. You really think the Creator of all things who upholds all things would be so clumsy as to not make sure that his exact words weren't copied down from the originals? LOL! 2 Tim 3:16 "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness...". He didn't say only the originals he said his scripture is.
 

kainos01

Puritan Board Senior
Infallible and inerrant mean the same thing.
Actually, Sarah, the terms, while related, are not strictly synonymous. "Inerrant" means that the Bible does not err; "infallible" means that it cannot err.
For the record, I agree with the arguments for mediate inspiration; in this age of dubious textual criticism, however, it is wise to accurately employ our terminology (and, David, I do not believe that you are using these terms appropriately).

Sarah, I was replying to a post of yours, which you subsequently deleted, but I would just add that there is a complicated history with regard to these terms, as I addressed in an article a number of years ago: http://www.erfm.org/biblical-inerrancy.html
 
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NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
When the pastor stands up and before reading from, for example the KJV, proclaims 'hear now the very word of God,' is he saying the truth or not? Do we have the very word of God, even in translation, or not? Or should he say, hear now what might be the very word of God?
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Actually, Sarah, the terms, while related, are not strictly synonymous. "Inerrant" means that the Bible does not err; "infallible" means that it cannot err.
For the record, I agree with the arguments for mediate inspiration; in this age of dubious textual criticism, however, it is wise to accurately employ our terminology (and, David, I do not believe that you are using these terms appropriately).

Sarah, I was replying to a post of yours, which you subsequently deleted, but I would just add that there is a complicated history with regard to these terms, as I addressed in an article about number of years ago: http://www.erfm.org/biblical-inerrancy.html

"We affirm that Scripture, having been given by divine inspiration, is infallible, so that, far from misleading us, it is true and reliable in all the matters it addresses. We deny that it is possible for the Bible to be at the same time infallible and errant in its assertions. Infallibility and inerrancy may be distinguished, but not separated."

In regards to the Bible, those two terms mean the same. In regards to humans, those two terms are not exactly the same.
1. God is inerrant and infallible or infallible and inerrant in all he says and does.
2. Jane was inerrant on her math test but is not infallible on all math tests.
But we aren't talking about humans we are talking about Scripture so yes the terms are the same
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
If they can be distinguished, they are not "strictly synonymous," which was all that I said. This has been a veritable minefield in Biblical scholarship; precision is critical.

It probably was a minefield to those who attribute God's attributes to those being like man's. But when viewed according to his attributes they are the same. But I won't keep arguing.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
The idea of "mediate inspiration" is not a valid idea because God has not promised that copies will be perfect.

John Frame:

He has not, in other words, promised to keep all copyists from error. . .the process of copying is a fallible process. . .There is no passage in Scripture, nor any biblical principle, that promises otherwise.

So the limitation of inspiration (and hence of authority, infallibility, and inerrancy) to the autographic text is a biblical limitation.
(from his "Systematic Theology," pages 635-636)

God, in giving us His written Word, controlled the writers of it in such a way that they wrote exactly what He wanted written, even while He preserved their own personalities, writing styles, etc. Therefore, what they wrote is inspired and without error.

However, inspiration - even a "mediate" inspiration - cannot be attributed to any translation of the Bible because we must always assume - in principle - that translations can contain errors, and this is because, as Frame notes, God has not guaranteed that translators and copyists will not commit errors.

A Bible translation that accurately reflects the originals can be said to possess the authority of the originals (and here I disagree with Frame on this one item), but they cannot be said to possess the inspiration of the originals, again, because of the possibility of errors in translation or copying, a possibility that did not exist when the autographs were written.

God has promised to preserve His Word down through the ages. But He did not promise to preserve copyists and translators from making mistakes.

An inspired document that contains errors (or that must admit even the mere possibility of such) is a contradiction. So, "mediate inspiration" is not a valid concept.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
The idea of "mediate inspiration" is not a valid idea because God has not promised that copies will be perfect.

John Frame:

He has not, in other words, promised to keep all copyists from error. . .the process of copying is a fallible process. . .There is no passage in Scripture, nor any biblical principle, that promises otherwise.

So the limitation of inspiration (and hence of authority, infallibility, and inerrancy) to the autographic text is a biblical limitation.
(from his "Systematic Theology," pages 635-636)

God, in giving us His written Word, controlled the writers of it in such a way that they wrote exactly what He wanted written, even while He preserved their own personalities, writing styles, etc. Therefore, what they wrote is inspired and without error.

However, inspiration - even a "mediate" inspiration - cannot be attributed to any translation of the Bible because we must always assume - in principle - that translations can contain errors, and this is because, as Frame notes, God has not guaranteed that translators and copyists will not commit errors.

A Bible translation that accurately reflects the originals can be said to possess the authority of the originals (and here I disagree with Frame on this one item), but they cannot be said to possess the inspiration of the originals, again, because of the possibility of errors in translation or copying, a possibility that did not exist when the autographs were written.

God has promised to preserve His Word down through the ages. But He did not promise to preserve copyists and translators from making mistakes.

An inspired document that contains errors (or that must admit even the mere possibility of such) is a contradiction. So, "mediate inspiration" is not a valid concept.

I just wonder how God could create everything on earth, uphold it in his power, know all things, be in all places at one time, etc etc and yet he failed at finding a person who could accurately translate the Bible. Really, the ONE piece of evidence which tells everything we know (well what we thought we knew) about God and his plan and his works is just scraps paper. "God promised to preserve his Word which is full of errors down through the ages". How do you say with a straight face is beyond me.

Yes, I'm being very cheeky. But I think it's beyond ridiculous that anyone in their right mind would believe in something that they feel is full of errors.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
You miss the teees for the Forrest, Richard.

Let me ask it another way: is the word ‘the’ in Hebrew and Greek accurate to the original autographs and if so, is that word inspired in the translation?
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Sarah,
Not to forget mentioning the weekly exhortation from all our pulpits when the call to worship is announced, ‘God is speaking’,. Every pastor is breaking the 9th commandment.
 
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