By Roland Worth, Jr.
Any person acquainted with the Bible and the history of its transmission realizes that multitudes of minor and insignificant differences exist in the surviving manuscripts. Some people (who should know better!) use this fact to discredit belief in the inspiration of the Bible itself.
R. Laird Harris, in his Inspiration and Canonicity of the Bible (Zondervan: 1957) cites an example of this from near the beginning of this century and rightly remarks, “She holds, strangely enough, that the publication of the Revised Version in England killed the doctrine of verbal inspiration as it revealed variations among the manuscripts. As if this had not been known previously!” (page 300)
It is extremely unjust to hold against an author the mistakes made by those who have preserved his works. J. W. McGarvey wrote in 1899, “If I were charged with all the mistakes which appear in my articles almost every week, and which have appeared in the first editions of all the books that I nave published, I would esteem it a very great hardship; and if I were guilty of them, I think that I would write no more till I could go to school a few more sessions. Why visit upon the heads of the holy men who wrote the Bible a hardship which no modern writer could bear with patience?” (Biblical Criticism, page 322)
Truth Magazine, XVIII:10; p. 12
January 17, 1974