The Originals Ex. 32:16 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Often when you read a missionary, pastor or church’s statement of faith regarding the Bible, you will find mention of the originals, referring to the original autographs. Generally, these statements will affirm that the person or church believes that God “inspired” the originals and that they believe the originals to be the word of God.
The problem with this kind of statement of faith is that the people typically making it don’t believe that the word of God exists in any literal written form today [i.e., no “translation” of the Bible is the word of God]. The other, more obvious, problem is that the originals are not extant, that is they don’t exist today. And so saying that they believe that God inspired the originals is a disingenuous proclamation to convince the reader that they are Bible believers, when in fact they are not.
It’s for this reason that you hear so many preachers preaching out of modern Bibles or correcting a word or phrase that they don’t like in the Bible they use with their own translation of Greek or Hebrew. If there are no originals with which to compare then they are at liberty to change the words to say anything they want them to say or to use any translation that suits their needs. The result is confusion and God is not the author of confusion [1 Cor 14:33].
Notice some of these interesting verses concerning the originals:
God wrote them and Moses destroyed them – Ex 32:15-19; Ex 31:18 – the tables of stone were written by the finger of God and yet when Moses saw the calf and the dancing he cast the tables out of his hands and brake them – so what did God do? He just made another set [Ex 34:1]. You don’t have to have the originals to have the word of God. Look at these other originals that were destroyed [Jer 36:23, 28, 32; Jer 51:60-64]. In one case God had them reprinted and expanded and in the other he let them sink to the bottom of the Euphrates River.
The Lord spoke them, Moses wrote them and Joshua copied them – Ex 24:3-7 – when the people heard what Moses read to them from the book, they said, “All that the Lord hath said will we do.” In other words, they didn’t hear the Lord speak like Moses heard yet they knew that they had heard the words of the Lord. Then when they crossed over Jordan, Joshua wrote all the words of the law on stones plastered with plaster and the words that he wrote were the words of God even though they were a copy and not the originals [Deut 27:1-8].
Do you not see how silly it would be for someone to profess that they believed the originals but that they didn’t believe the words written by Joshua were the words of God because they were not the originals? And how even more foolish it would be for that same person to then change the words because they were only a copy? Once he corrupted them with his “better translation” they would no longer be the words of God [2 Cor 2:17].
Moses wrote them and Kings copied them – Deut 17:18-20 – these certainly were not the originals and yet they were “all the words of this law.” The kings were not at liberty to write whatever they wanted, or to add words or to subtract words; they wrote “out of that which is before the priests the Levites.” Their personal copies were just as authoritative as the book from which they had written.
Isaiah wrote them and Jesus and the Ethiopian read copies of them – Lk 4:16-21; Acts 8:30-35 – neither one of these manuscripts from which Jesus and the eunuch read was an original and yet both of them are called “scripture” – 2 Tim 3:16 tells us that all scripture is given by inspiration of God – these manuscripts from which Jesus and the eunuch read were better than the originals for one simple reason – they had them in their possession – what good are the words of God if you don’t have them to read? Isaiah’s original autographs are nowhere to be found.
Conclusion: God promised to preserve his words – Ps 12:6-7 – and as a result you can be sure that they are here somewhere – I believe that they are in my King James Bible – this copy of God’s word is your own personal copy of what God said – there are no errors in it and these words work effectually in you that believe [1 Thes 2:13] – the critics of the translation are never right when they change it and they are never right when they find what they call an error in it – don’t listen to the critics; listen to the inspiration of God.