||The Arrogant Assumptions Of The "Autograph Only"
"How To Reason Yourself Into Unbelief"
follow what we call the "Autograph Only" position concerning
the inspiration, preservation, and purity of the Scriptures (those who
believe ONLY the "original autographs of the Bible are
inerrant, infallible, and "inspired") would have all Christians believe
their "logical conclusions" on the matter are the only conclusions
possible. Many of them promote their position in such a "matter of
fact" manner and with such a superior attitude that it leaves those who
differ with them feeling as if they are thought of as ignorant,
"unthinking" or just plain stupid. They often use phrases as, "It is
logically and scriptually impossible...," "It is only logical to
believe...," "The logical and historical position is...," etc., etc.,
apparently trying to "brow-beat" the "less knowledgeable" or "less
educated" into submission. They claim to know the truth but by
their own admission they don't HAVE the truth. In this Taboo
Topic we will address the three major assumptions this crowd tries
to pass as FACT.
As we go
along it will become clear to the reader that the "Autograph Only" camp
value their own logic and reasoning (their minds) more than any
Bible in any language. Their idolized final authority does not
exist (the original autographs) so they without hesitation become
their own final authority in its place. Whatever their "logic"
dictates out of their puny minds (my mind is puny too, so don't get
"bent out of shape") is what they believe. Their own humanistic
thoughts guide their ways instead of what God has revealed about
His thoughts and ways (Isa. 55). What they can't seem to understand
is their beloved logic has caused them to "reason" themselves into
unbelief! They have no Bible and worse than that don't believe
there can ever be a pure Bible upon the face of the earth!
Below we will
examine the fallacy of the position and the fruits of the infidelity of
the "Autograph Only." Contrary to what they would have one think with
their "scholarly," humanistic "logic," endless rhetorical questions,
andpius condescending attitude their position is pitiful,
pathetic, and very destructive.
As much as
the "Autograph Only" claim their position is based on facts, logic, and
Scripture, the three main tenets of their entire belief system-the
basis of every argument they present-is based on nothing but
unscriptural, humanistic assumptions andconjecture.Your
author has challenged them to PROVE their claims from Scripture, and
they usually ignore him as if he didn't ask. And when they do answer it
is often with a line of rhetoric void of any Scripture that is designed
to avoid the question.
The first and
foremost assumption of the "Autograph Only" (and from where they get
their "name"), and the first and main tenet of their entire belief
original autographs can be inerrent, infallible, and thus pure
Scripture." or "We believe in the inspiration of the original
simple as that. How many of you have read in commentaries, heard
in sermons, or seen in doctrinal statements words like, "We believe the
Bible to be the perfect word of God and inspired in the original
autographs...," "Many copies and translations are "reliable," but
inspiration is limited to the autographs...," "God's word is only
inerrant and infallible in the original autographs"... (Why do they
nearly always say "original autographs" instead of just "autographs"?
Why some may "logically conclude" there may be autographs that are NOT
"original"?). If I had a quarter for every time I have heard or read
statements like that I would buy a 21 inch monitor!
John R. Rice
in his book "Our God Breathed Book The Bible" sums the Autograph Only's
position up for us in no uncertain terms,
is claimed for original autographs, NOT for translation or copying.
When we say that the Bible is inspired, we do not refer to the
translations or copies but to the original autographs, written down
under God's direction.... But WE DO NOT claim for ANY copy or ANY
translation the absolute, divine PERFECTION that was in the original
autographs. Inspiration refers to the original autographs."
There it is
like a dead skunk in the road,ONLY the "original autographs" CAN
BE the perfect word of God.
like the above, it seems, are mindlessly repeated among Fundamentalists
with some of them apparently not really knowing what they are saying.
Do they realize with these words they are robbing the world of
God's pure word and stealing it out of the hearts and minds of those
who trust and believe them? Do they understand by insisting all
Bibles in all languages have errors and are not pure or perfect they
are weakening the faith of many? Some may but many do not. They just go
with the flow and are intimidated by the scholarly rhetoric of the
"elite." They definitely don't want to be branded as "unscholarly,"
"unthinking," or "ignorant."
We will admit
the Autograph Only theory may sound logical and plausible to the
natural man and to Christians who neglect their Bible, but place it
before an open Bible and it disintegrates. If you want to get on an
"Autograph-Only's" bad side and maybe be branded a "troublemaker,"
"heretic," or even "antichrist" (I have been called all three) ask him
to prove their main tenet (only the autographs are inspired) from
Scripture. If they feel "generous" and take the time to "answer"
you they will nearly always flip through their Bible as say something
like, "God revealed His Word to the apostles and prophets by the Holy
Spirit. God's Word is clear that there can be no inspired works without
living apostles or prophets. No believer since the death of John (A. D.
100 or earlier) has had the office of apostle or prophet. Apostles had
to have seen Christ and be eyewitnesses of what they testified. No more
revelation and inspired Scripture have been given since the death of
the Apostle John..." etc. etc. They say all this as if they are telling
one something new, but in all the clamor they conveniently avoided
the question for they know they cannot prove it.
Autograph-Only are masters at avoiding questions. They are in the same
category as politicians in my book. Ask one a simple question and all
you get are "good words and fair speeches" designed to sidetrack if not
deceive. If you persist in asking one to PROVE his autograph only claim
from Scripture, he will usually, with cleverness and sophistry, steer
you away from the Bible towards his old friend "logic," For maximum
effect he may even quote a Scripture or two along the way. But be
careful, pilgrim, human logic is not Scripture, and secular reasoning
is not Bible.
challenge one of the Autograph-Only to prove his arrogant claim, and
after enduring his monotonous rhetoric you still insist he has he
failed, you can confound him more by quickly showing him from the Bible
how EVERY reference to "Scripture" in the Bible is to a COPY and
not an autograph. He will usually treat this fact as of little
consequence to steer you off track, but stick to the facts and insist
this is strong Biblical evidence AGAINST his position. Actually, this
fact alone undermines their entire theory and shows them as the
ones who are "unthinking" or "ignorant."
fact is there is no place in the Bible that even SUGGESTS what
the Autograph Only contend about the autographs; no Scripture even
hints there claim that only the autographs can be true and pure
Scripture. Usually when one of them is asked to produce a verse on
"inspiration" they quote 2 Timothy 3:16 ("All scripture is given by
inspiration of God...") and go into a lecture about how this verse
deals with "original autographs," but this passage says NOTHING
about the "original autographs," it refers to "SCRIPTURE." The
"Autograph Only" have not only have a word comprehension problem, they
have a theological problem, the Bible simply does not support them.
they miss 2 Timothy 3:15 while quoting verse 16 unless they did it on
purpose. Either they are intentionally deceptive, "blind,"
illiterate, or just plain stupid. Verse 15 says about Timothy "from
a child hast known the holy scriptures..." and verse 16 says, "All
scripture is given by inspiration of God. "How could they miss the
connection unless they are biased toward a "private
interpretation"? A text without a context is a pretext! I know
of no one who believes Timothy (or Paul, the Bereans, or even Christ)
had the autographs, yet Paul calls the copies he did have "scripture."
Clearly Paul would not be found among the "Autograph Only." Their
method of pulling this passage out of context and making it say
something it doesn't rivals that of any cult.
Think for a
minute dear reader, where in the Bible do you find a prophet, apostle,
priest or even a Pharisee talking like these people talk? Where
does anyone in the Bible including the cursed "Scribes and
Pharisees" insist there is no pure Scripture available because they
don't have the autographs? Where does anyone, "saint or sinner," use
human logic and secular reasoning attempting to reason away the
confidence the people have in the Scriptures (copies) they had? Christ
read from copies and so did the rest of the Jews and neither He nor
they resorted to destructive, humanistic "logic" when dealing with the
Scriptures. They all treated the copies they had as inerrant
Scripture, not as inferior copies. With their doctrine of
assumptions and presumptions the "Autograph Only" spread a poison that
even the the most diabolical in the Bible are afraid to attempt.
great doctrinal assumption of the "Autograph Only" (as well as the
third) is mainly a rhetorical statement used in a lame attempt
to "prove" their first assumption. With this second statement they
admit in theory the "possibility" of an "inspired" Bible other
than the autographs but place such limitations on it that it is a
practical impossibility. They likely developed this statement as a
result of being questioned about their first. Their first statement
leaves man without an inerrant Bible without any chance of obtaining
it, so to appear "Fundamental" and "save face," their second
statement more or less gives one of their "logical" reasons why.
assumption the "Autograph Only" contend to be fact is,
of Scripture must be verbally and plenarily IDENTICAL to the original
autograph to be inerrant, infallible Scripture."
means word for word" and "plenary" means "completely and totally,
"thus, according to this statement, if a copy is not an identical,
verbatim copy of the autograph in language, letters, and possibly even
layout, it is not "inspired" and not true and pure Scripture. Like
with their first assumption above, however, when asked to PROVE this
statement from Scripture they appeal to their ally human logic to
defend them instead. They know the Scriptures do not place such a
limitation upon themselves and resort to their own minds to save them.
"verbal," "plenary" assumption were true then not only would no one
have a pure Bible since the autographs are gone, but no one could
trust any copy of Scripture because they cannot prove it is an
exact duplicate of the autograph. If we take this one step farther,
even if a copy was verbatim to the autographs, no one could have access
to a pure Bible unless they were fluent in ancient Hebrew and Kione
Greek! (It always amused your author how someone who has two or
three years of "Greek" in "Bible School" speaks like he is an expert on
the subject from the pulpit or from his books. Many will readily
criticize the King James Bible while spouting a few high-sounding Greek
words to impress their audience when in reality they know
practically nothing about what they are saying and are only quoting
someone else. There are very few in the world who truly know these now
dead languages. The rest speak with feigned authority and would
be practically useless if ALL they had were the "original
autographs." It is ironic that most who promote the "Autograph
Only" positioncouldn't read one sentence of their idolized
of course, are out of the question in the verbal, plenary world of the
"Autograph Only" since it is "impossible" for any translation to be
"verbally" and "plenarily" identical to the autographs. See how these
blind guides have reasoned themselves into unbelief? They have used
their brand of "logic" and "reason" to convince themselves and others
it is impossible for anyone in any language to have an inerrant Bible.
To them the "logic" is sound and their "reasoning" flawless, but it
leaves man in a pitiful condition if it were true.
argument also the Autograph Only like to pretend the Bible supports
them in their unbelief, but, again, when challenged for Scriptural
proof they return to their comrade "logic." I have had them vehemently
insist, "Logic dictates translations by their very nature and
definition cannot be as accurate or pure as their source or basis
because something is always lost in translating...," "A translation can
never be equal to the original..." etc., etc., the only problem is they
have not been able to produce ONE Scripture that even IMPLIES this!
They reason as if God is not of the picture! The Bible says no such
thing. God is fully capable of giving His people His pure word in the
manner He wants them to have it without worrying about them being
"verbally" and "plenarily" identical to the autograph. "Logical"
concepts the Autograph Only hold dear are no hindrance to the Lord's
distribution of His word.
same lines, no where in the Bible does it say a translation must be
inferior to the original. Giving His pure, inerrant word in another
language is no problem for God even though it goes against the
Autograph Only's "logic." God is not limited by man's perception of
where in the Bible does it stipulate that Scripture must be verbally
and plenarily identical to the autograph to be true and pure Scripture?
This notion is a humanistic (if not Satanic) contrivance by the
Autograph Only. Check our book, "Which Translation Should You Trust," for
references where the Bible honors translations as nothing less than the
pure word of God (and indicates how they can be even superior to the
original), how there can be multiple "original autographs," and
how the Bible places no emphasis on the autographs.
It's true one
cannot prove the KJB (or the text behind it) is identical to the
autographs, but no one has to. God has forsaken and
abandoned the "Original Authogaphs"-He has no use for them-thus
anyone who tries to dig them up or idolize them in another matter is
similarly motivated as those who worshipped the God forsaken brazen
serpent. If God has no more use for anything and has forsaken it, why
should any Christian seek after it? Christians should honor, trust,
and believe the Scriptures God has provided them (KJB) instead
of seeking for something God has no use for. Even if some of the
Autograph Only found an autograph, how could they prove it was genuine?
Some of them would likely correct it as well with their opinion.
Autograph Only's position has been destroyed by the Scriptures.
Autograph Only are shown to be unscriptural in the first two tenets of
their religion they will usually resort to a last ditch effort of
desperation attempting to rejuvenate their precarious position. With
cleverness and sophistry they will attempt to link a well established
doctrine of man to their pitiful, lethargic doctrine in an effort to
give it credibility. They will state dogmatically and with certainty,
as much as their feeble constitutions will allow,
unequivocally states man is a fallen creature, depraved and fallible,
and all copies and translations of Scripture came through man, therefore
(see them enter their friend "logic")
, all copies and translations of
Scripture contain error."
who brag about logic and reason would make such a presumptuousstatement
is both laughable and pathetic.
Of course, it
is correct to say man is fallible and capable of error, every Christian
knows this, but it is another thing to say God is incapable of
providing man His pure word because of it! Their "logic" has caused
these rascals to conclude the depravity of man is greater than the
promises and ability of God! They reason as if God doesn't exist or
is at least not interested in His word and promises. Of course, they
won't admit to this in these words, but when they deny the possibility
of an inerrant Bible because of the three assumptions above, that is
what they are saying.
guides" seem to forgetGod used fallible humans to give His word in
the first place. As soon as one reminds them of this, however, they
will undoubtedly insist, "Yes, but the men God used to author His word
were inspired, copyists and translators are not inspired." Assumption,
assumptions, and more assumptions. Where in the Bible does it say the
men who authored the Scriptures were "inspired"? The Bible
says, "All Scripture is GIVEN by inspiration of GOD...."
Who is inspired here, God and His word or men? Let's let Job tell us,
"But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty
giveth them understanding" (Job 32:8). It is God and His word
that are inspired, not men; however, God gives His "God-breathed"
words to men by the breath and Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost (2
Pet.1:21). The Autograph Only assume men are what is "inspired."
to this, clinging to their inspiration assumption, the Autograph Only
will continue to insist for a copy or translation to be pure and
perfect the copyist or translators must be "inspired." And from this
they invent the "straw man" doctrine called "double inspiration"
which they pin on anyone who claims to have a pure Bible. I have had
them ignorantly charge me with teaching "double inspiration" when I
don't even believe the original writers were "inspired" to start with.
(Though some Bible believers may teach the King James translators were
"inspired," we don't hold to that belief. We teach God and His
WORDS are what is inspired, not any man.) God does not have to
"inspire" any man to copy or translate His already inspired words!
God's words are, "...spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63),
when did they die that they need to be "reinspired"?
God can use
copyists and translators, without "inspiring" them, to preserve His
word in the manner He wishes to preserve it. The trumped up "logical"
problems of the Autograph Only don't hinder Him at all. If God
wants Wycliff's Bible to be the word of God in English during the 14th
century that's His business. If He wants Tyndale's New Testament to be
His word in the 16th century, again, that's His business, and if He
wants the King James Version to be His word from the 17th century on, who
will contend with Him? He is the One who promised to preserve His
word, and He can use whatever means He wishes to accomplish His task
without consulting the "Autograph Only."
As we said,
the three assumptions listed above are the entire basis of the
position of the Autograph Only. Their entire belief system and
every argument they present stands or falls on the validity and
Scriptural integrity of these claims, but try as they may, they
cannot prove one of them from Scripture. They are in a desperate and
pitiful position and have no escape except to forsake their vain
assumptions and turn to the truth. Some who have been caught up in
their doctrine and then come to the knowledge of the truth (like your
author) do forsake it, but most of those who have openly identified
themselves with the Autograph Only position never leave. They are yoked
with it till death. We hope the above information will help some who
read this realize the fallacy of their arrogant, assumptive position.
you contend God revealed His word by the Holy Spirit to only the
apostles and prophets and only "inspired" them to transmit it to man,
how can you PROVE the "uninspired" scribes who penned many of
these words did not make a mistake in their transcription? Furthermore,
Tertius, Paul's scribe, was the author of
Romans 16:22 andnot Paul. Is that verse Scripture since
Tertius is neither prophet or apostle and thus "uninspired"? email@example.com