Fact a Day: May 15th - Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, John Ankerberg Show

Fact a Day: May 15th

The Facts on the King James Only Debate (Harvest House, 1996) p. 40


How does Romans 8:28 relate to the issues of modern translations?


In an important class project, Dr. Daniel Wallace illustrates the preservation of the Bible by an exercise he has done over 35 times with his students. He takes an ancient apocryphal work and tells one student to change such and such for theological reasons and another student, because they are in a great hurry, to skip a few words, etc. The original manuscript is then discarded. What remains are 20 manuscripts, several generations removed from the original. “None of them at all look like each other, and the students say, ‘There’s no way we’re going to get back to the original.’ The nice thing is, I have the original. So when they work on this process [of attempting to ascertain the original text] through the normal means of textual criticism… they have come back to that original wording every single time within one word. And that one word that is missing is either ‘also’ or ‘to.’”*

In other words, if a group of students can arrive at the original text within a single word how much more should Christians, with the wealth of mss. data they have, be assured that they have the original text?

In the end, the truth of Romans 8:28 will remain. Just as the unforeseen benefit of heresy in church history has been a spur to the church to formulate its doctrines and beliefs accurately, so the end result of divisions like the KJO controversy will be to spur Christians who love God to a fair and honest study of the issues. This will result in an understanding of God’s Word that honors God, upholds the trustworthiness of Scripture, and recognizes the importance of the facts surrounding the origin and inspiration, text, transmission and translation of the Bible.

*For documentation, see The Facts on the King James Only Debate.


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