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Don Stewart :: Should the Written Scripture Be Our Final Source of Authority?

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Don Stewart

Yes. The written Scripture should be the final authority on all matters of faith and practice. Unhappily, by a number of different means, some have tried to substitute God's written Word with something else.

The Translation Went From Greek To Aramaic

There have been some Bible students who have attempted to discover the actual words of Jesus by translating His sayings from Greek into Aramaic - the language many assume that He normally spoke. This is problematic for a number of reasons.

When Did He Speak It?

First, we do not know on what occasions Jesus actually spoke Aramaic. It is still debated how much He spoke in Greek as well as whether He may have spoken Hebrew.

It is a dangerous thing to try to correct the written Word of God by translating His Greek sayings back into Aramaic and then concluding that He really said or did not say. Some of those who do this sort of thing actually assume the gospel writers mistranslated Jesus' sayings. They, of course, believe that they have the correct understanding.

We Should Understand The Life-Setting

In addition, there are others who attempt to determine the historical circumstances that led the gospel writers to author their works. While there is nothing wrong with this, some have gone too far by assuming they know what the writers were really trying to say - not what they did say. We do not know what was in the mind of the biblical writers. All we know is what they wrote.

Summary

Whether done intentionally or unintentionally it is wrong to attempt to make some standard of authority other than the written Word of God. God's Word in the New Testament has come to us in Greek. No one has any right to change it into some other language in an attempt to discover what it really said. The written Word of God, in its present form, is our final source of authority.

Neither should anyone be so bold as to assume they know what was in the mind of the biblical writers. Nor can anyone can be certain of the exact historical circumstances behind the writings. The goal of those who read and study the Bible should be to understand what is written - not to try and improve it!

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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