The Text

Psalms 119:72 (CSB) Instruction from your lips is better for me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

The Chapter

The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentic; so as in all controversies of religion, the church is finally to appeal to them. But because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have a right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded in the fear of God to read and search them, therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come, that the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship him in an acceptable manner, and through patience and comfort of the Scriptures may have hope.

The Confession

The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentic

The 1689 teaches that only the original manuscripts can be declared to be inerrant and infallible. In other words, the words written down from the hand of the author from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit can only be called inerrant and infallible.

Copies and translations will have minor differences and errors in them. Are we to worry? Are we missing out? Have we gotten the gospel wrong?

No. Not even in the least bit.

What is mind boggling about the Hebrew and the Greek manuscripts is that despite the minor differences and errors, no, none, zero primary and secondary doctrines were changed and affected. The gospel is always the gospel. Christ is still Christ. The Triune God is still Triune. Creeds are still the Creeds. Confessions (that came 1200 years after the Creeds) are still Confessional.

You and I don’t have to worry that we have missed something. We have God. We haven’t missed a thing.

Or you can be like every single human in history who overthought this point went searching the Scriptures for some other kind of life when the Scriptures testify about Jesus Christ:

John 5:39 (CSB) You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, and yet they testify about me.

so as in all controversies of religion, the church is finally to appeal to them

John 1:1 (New World Translation) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.

vs.

John 1:1 (CSB) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

This is a quote from the Bible translation used from cult known as Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Jehovah’s Witnesses uses all the same terminology that Christians do: Jesus, God, Spirit. But their version means something completely different. The prime example is that, to them, Jesus is not god.

John 8:58 (New World Translation) Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to you, before Abraham came into existence, I have been.

vs.

John 8:58 (CSB) Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.

Through scholastic dishonesty, they have twisted the translation to make their Bible deny that Jesus is God. No reputable Greek scholar will support that claim.

This is where Christians can make their appeal to: the original ancient languages of Hebrew for the Old Testament and Greek and some Aramaic for the New Testament.

For the English language, we are incredibly blessed to have multiple translations. Not only can we find one we prefer to read and will read but any major errors in translation will automatically be spotlighted because it will go off sideways versus the other major English translations.

From that, minor differences are just minor differences and again, they do not affect any primary or secondary doctrines of our faith. Even doctrines like baptism: who gets baptized and how they are baptized. Consider the differences between the paedo- and credobaptists. I know many Presbyterians and Baptists use the same translation. There isn’t a translation that slants against one mode of baptism over the other.

Where translations go wrong, they go wrong all the way.

And this is what the orthodox, catholic church appeals to: the original languages for all matters and all controversies.

But because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have a right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded in the fear of God to read and search them, therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come, that the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship him in an acceptable manner, and through patience and comfort of the Scriptures may have hope

Knowing ancient language is a gift, blessing and privilege by God. 1% of the population know it. Here is the real blessing: because ancient language knowledge is such a privilege, God has sought it right and good through his blessing and provision to translate the Bible into every language of the world. In many times, when a language did not have a written language, the Bible was translated to provide a written language for those people. Why?

they may worship him in an acceptable manner, and through patience and comfort of the Scriptures may have hope

God sought it to gospel of his Son that his word would be preserved through out all time–even prior to the invention of the printing press or the Internet–to bring it to every person in the world today and unto the future until Christ returns. That is such an extraordinary feat that it must be of God. Look at church history–mankind will always disagree. But God preserves. Blessed be his name.

The Resources

To the Judicious and Impartial Reader: Baptist Symbolics Volume 2.
by James Renihan.
Founders Press. 2022.
Goodreads


A New Exposition of the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689
by Rob Ventura.
Mentor. January 17, 2023.
Amazon


Truths We Confess: A Systematic Exposition of the Westminster Confession of Faith.
Sproul, R. C.
Orlando: Reformation Trust, 2019.
Goodreads


The Baptist Confession of Faith 1689: Or the Second London Confession with Scripture Proofs
by Peter Masters.
Wakeman Trust. January 1, 1981.
Goodreads


Modern Exposition of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith.
by Samuel E. Waldron.
Evangelical Press. 2013.
Goodreads


The Westminster Confession: The Confession of Faith, The Larger and Shorter Catechism.
Westminster Assembly.
The Directory for the Public Worship of God, with Associated Historical Documents. 2018.
Goodreads


The Creedal Imperative.
Carl R. Trueman
Crossway, 2012.
Goodreads