Bible - Inspiration & Authority

If God Is Not Sovereign Over His Word, What Are the Implications?

By Dr. Paul M. Elliott
We answer that question by posing additional questions that demonstrate that such a thing is impossible.

From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase

Part six (final) of a series. Read part five.

We answer that question by posing additional questions that demonstrate that such a thing is impossible.

As we conclude this series, let us consider one further question: What if the textual critics were right? What if the pages of the Bible are indeed littered with wordings and passages that are "uncertain" and "ambiguous"? We may answer that question by asking a further series of questions:

  • How can there possibly be in the present day what the Apostle Paul spoke of as a plain and forthright disclosure of revealed truth, if God has not faithfully preserved His revealed truth in the original languages for us?
  • How can the people of God possibly obey God's commandments about not adding to or taking away from His Word, if we are not certain what the Word of God actually is?
  • How can we possibly know when we are adding to or taking away from His Word - and how can a holy God judge us for such a thing - unless there is an inerrant standard in existence in our time, and in all times?
  • How can we possibly know if we are turning even to the slightest degree to the right or to the left doctrinally, if we do not have an absolutely reliable compass?
  • How can we know when someone is handling the Word of God deceitfully, adulterating the pure Word of God, unless the pure Word of God exists?
  • Furthermore, how can we trust God the Holy Spirit - the author of all Scripture - to aid and to guide us in the interpretation of His Word as Christ has promised, if we cannot trust that the same God has preserved His Word intact and free from error?

The answer to all of these questions is simply this: God can and does make such a promise to His people in all ages, and He is not to be found a liar, because He has providentially and supernaturally preserved His Word. God is sovereign over His Word.

The only way that God could command such things of His people in all ages, and the only way He could command such things of His ministers, is because authentic Holy Scripture in the original languages is still available - absolutely free from error, in all ages - as He has promised. Not one jot or tittle passing away. Dr. Wilbur Pickering's life's work has empirically demonstrated this fact beyond the shadow of a doubt, and God willing we hope to make his work accessible and understandable, to a worldwide audience.

In the verses just preceding the great roll call of faith in Hebrews chapter 11, the Holy Spirit through the human writer reminds His readers that they had "endured a great struggle with sufferings". They had done so with confidence in the promises of God revealed in Scripture, "knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in Heaven." He then continues,

Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: "For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him." But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:35-39)

In a time when textual critics seek to undermine our confidence in Authentic Scripture, may we not "cast away [our] confidence, which has great reward." May it be said of us what the Apostle Paul said of the believers in Thessalonica:

For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the Word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. (1 Thessalonians 2:13)

Our Sovereign Creator is indeed sovereign over His Word - His written revelation to humanity. He has preserved that revelation intact to this day, to the extent that we can know what it is based on objective criteria. He will preserve it forever. The original wording was never lost. The hallmark of its faithful transmission down through the centuries has been providential preservation. The authentic text was recognized by believers as inspired Scripture from the beginning. It was handled accordingly with great care through the generations, so that every word and every letter of the original has been faithfully transmitted through a particular line of manuscript transmission that gives us the ultimate proof that God has preserved the text - that God is indeed sovereign over His Word. "Forever, O Lord, Your Word is settled in Heaven."


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