(I have reposted my original article in the post below this one. It is the article that Mother of Many is commenting on that I posted originally as a comment on the VTC Blog- So See My Post for June 15th to view that article.)
Mother of Many Posted this Question to Me in My Comments Section in Response to my Article on Bible Interpretation. Here is her comment and question back to me below, and then my answer to her question.
Sorry this is off topic, but I didn't see an email link and didn't know where else to put it.
I read your post about the Bible at VTC and wondered how you can believe God could perfectly preserve his word through man in oral tradtion but isn't able to perfectly preserve his word in print?
There are many studies available by not only translators from different faiths but also non-believers about how astoundingly accurately the Bible has been preserved, especially after the Quamran caves were found and the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered and studied.
What about verses such as Isaiah 40:8, Isaiah 55:10-11, Psalm 12:6-7, Psalm 19:7, Psalm 102:18, Psalm 119:9-11, Proverbs 30:5, 1 Chronicles 16:15, Matthew 22:29, Mark 13:31, Luke 1:37, John 20:31, Romans 15:4, 2 Timothy 3:16, etc.?
If you do not believe the Bible has been perfectly preserved, is it accurate to say Catholics hold the scriptures and tradition in equal authority?
Thank you. (from motherofmany)
Hi, I just want to say these are my own personal thoughts and conclusions that I have come to over many years of study. They aren't set in stone, but do reflect where I am coming from at this moment in time. So be patient and understanding with me. I am by no means a Bible Scholar, but I am trusting the Lord and the Scriptures that say "Seek and ye Shall Find", So I have been doing that all my life. Thanks for writing.
I didn't really want my blog to become an apologetics blog so I was posting on the other blog. But OK Since you asked. :-)
On the other blog, I was simply trying to point out the problems with "Personal"Bible Interpretation. I guess my first question would be when you say perfectly preserve his word in print--hmm which printed version is perfectly preserved? Is there a perfectly preserved version in every language? I will say it again, the only perfect infallible scriptures are the original manuscripts in the original languages. Languages don't translate perfectly into other languges for all the reasons I mentioned in the other post.
I found it interesting one time in a Bible study that a Spanish speaker had said she had trouble with the English version of the "Our Father" the line in English is "lead us not into temptation.. She said that made no sense to her because why would we have to ask God not to tempt us? She said in the Spanish language the phrase is more aptly translated keep us from being tempted. I don't know if that is a good example but that is what I had off the top of my head.
OK here is I think a good example and I'll use the King James
Luke 14:26 (King James Version)
26If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
OK the word "hate" are you really suppose to "hate" your father, mother ......
We are suppose to honor our Mother and Father and If we look at
1 John 3:15 (King James Version)
15Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
Numerous Greek scholars have added their combined years of study to the discussion to testify that the word “hate” (miseo) in Luke 14:26 does not mean “an active abhorrence,” but means “to love less.”
The Greek word has a subtly different meaning or more meanings than our English word hate.
Here is another example (and I know I am opening a can of worms with this one) :
John 3:5 (King James Version)
5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
The Problem " Born of water and the Spirit"
Those that want to say baptism is just a symbol say that Jesus here is not referring to water baptism. They either say that the "water" here is the preached word of God, or I have also heard, that the water here refers to amniotic fluid or fleshly natural birth. OK which is it? (Acutally I have studied this to death over the past 20 years) I will go with history and Apostolic Tradition on this one. The early Christians uniformly identified this verse with baptism. Water baptism is the way, they said, that we are born again and receive new life—a fact that is supported elsewhere in Scripture (cf. Rom. 6:3–4; Col. 2:12–13; Titus 3:5). And by many other early church documents and writing of the Early Church fathers.
No Church Father referred to John 3:5 as anything other than water baptism. Actually a wonderful early church document gives instructions on how baptism is suppose to be done. It was written about 70 AD written during the time of the Apostles and is called the Didache.
Actually the idea of "Being Born Again" as a personal spiritual conversion experience was unknown to early Christians. This idea didn't come along till much later in History.
Someday I would love to be a Bible Scholar, but I'm too busy being a mom right now. Even with a Greek and Hebrew lexicon that I have there are still translation issues.
I absolutely agree with you that the Bible is astoundingly accurate as a whole. One of the wonderful books I read in High School was Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowel'sl (Sp?) I also heard him give a lecture in College. Yes the Quamran Caves is an awesome find and actually pieces of several of the deuterocanonical books were found there. Those are the books that were eventually excluded from most Protestant Bibles. They were part of the Septuagint which was the Greek version of the Old Testament used at the time of Christ.
Ok I was going to print all the scriptures you mentioned but that got to be a bit long. But in all of these the gist is God's Word is accurate and will be preserved. I would ask you is that just his written word? Or is that his written word, his oral word and the word incarnate? I would say all 3.
I would say Scripture and Tradition compliment each other and need to be in agreement with each other. Tradition cannot contradict Scripture. Likewise I don't think you can fully understand Scripture without Apostolic Tradition. (I am not talking about the traditions of men here) You need both.
The concept of Scripture Alone and that Scripture is "All" sufficient is actually not Biblical. Nowhere in the Bible does it claim that all you need as your rule of faith is the Bible. The Church is the Pillar and Foundation of truth 1 Tim 3:15
1 Timothy 3:15 (King James Version) 15But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Scripture in 2 Timothy 3:16 Is not a proof text for the Sole Sufficiency of the Bible and doesn't even refer to the New Testament
2 Tim 3:16 (New American Standard Bible)
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
In context it refers to the scriptures of Timothy's youth. The new Testament didn't exist in Timothy's youth. 2 Timothy 3:14-15 (New American Standard Bible)
14You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
The Bible denies that it is sufficient as the complete rule of faith. Paul says that much Christian teaching is to be found in the tradition which is handed down by word of mouth (2 Tim. 2:2). He instructs us to "stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thess. 2:15).
This oral teaching was accepted by Christians, just as they accepted the written teaching that came to them later. Jesus told his disciples: "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me" (Luke 10:16). The Church, in the persons of the apostles, was given the authority to teach by Christ; the Church would be his representative. He commissioned them, saying, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations" (Matt. 28:19).
And how was this to be done? By preaching, by oral instruction: "So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ" (Rom. 10:17). The Church would always be the living teacher. It is a mistake to limit "Christ’s word" to the written word only or to suggest that all his teachings were reduced to writing. The Bible nowhere supports either notion.
Further, it is clear that the oral teaching of Christ would last until the end of time. "’But the word of the Lord abides for ever.’ That word is the good news which was preached to you" (1 Pet. 1:25). Note that the word has been "preached"—that is, communicated orally. This would endure. It would not be
supplanted by a written record like the Bible (supplemented, yes, but not supplanted), and would continue to have its own authority.
This is made clear when the apostle Paul tells Timothy: "What you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2). Here we see the first few links in the chain of apostolic tradition that has been passed down intact from the apostles to our own day. Paul instructed Timothy to pass on the oral teachings (traditions) that he had received from the apostle. He was to give these to men who would be able to teach others, thus perpetuating the chain. Paul gave this instruction not long before his death (2 Tim. 4:6–8), as a reminder to Timothy of how he should conduct his ministry.
In Summary my current position on the issue. Tradition does not supercede or supplant the written word of God the Bible. However it is necessary for correct interpretation and understanding. So I guess to answer your initial question, I believe that the written word of God is preserved along with the oral interpretation to understand it correctly. Ok that is where I am at at this present time.
Sincerely, Deeny Sorry if I rambled a bit.