Tuesday, February 16, 2021

A Version of Scripture is the Divine Word

The following excerpt was written by Thomas Lawrence (1832-1915), a Presbyterian preacher who served as President of the Normal and Collegiate Institute at Asheville, North Carolina 1892-1907. It is found in “The Plenary Inspiration of the Scriptures; Or, The Divine and Human in the Written Word,” Asheville Citizen-Times (NC) Tuesday, August 28, 1900, p. 2 “A paper by the Rev. Thomas Lawrence, read in the Mills River church, Henderson county, N. C., before the Elders’ and Deacons’ institute, held under the joint auspices of the Presbyteries of Asheville and French Broad, representing, respectively, the sister Presbyterian churches, north and south. The paper is published at the request of the institute.”

“Fifth. It is objected, that though we may concede the verbal inspiration of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, the question is but of little moment to the mass of men after all, who have access to the sacred writings only in the form of a translation. But the objection is not well taken. If the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures are verbally inspired, then they form an infallible standard with which the version may be continuously compared and corrected until it perfectly reproduces, not merely the thought, but the very form and structure of the original, and in so far forth as the version faithfully reproduces the original, is it the inspired word, invested with all its divine inherent and awful authority. We have the highest of all authority for saying that a version of Scripture is the Divine Word—that of the divine author of the Scriptures himself. During our Lord’s earthly ministry he frequently quotes from the Septuagent (sic) version of the Hebrew Bible. He cites it as ‘the Scriptures,’and Paul, quoting from the Septuagent (sic) version of Psl. 95-7, speaks of it as the words of the Holy Ghost. ‘As the Holy Ghost saith, If ye will hear his voice.’ Were the great apostle today—nay the Master Himself, on a mission to the English speaking people, He would doubtless use our common English Bible—the most perfect of all versions, in the noblest of modern tongues.”

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