Thursday, December 06, 2012
John Owen on the Inspiration and Preservation of Scripture
I’m working my way again through John Owen’s “Of the Integrity and Purity of the Hebrew and Greek Text of Scripture” (Collected Works, vol. 16, pp. 345-421). Owen wrote this work in response to the publication of Brian Walton’s Biblia Polyglotta, one of the earliest efforts to collect and publish variant readings in a critical text. Here is Owen’s abstract of his response:
As the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were immediately and entirely given out by God himself, his mind being in them represented unto us without the least interveniency of such mediums and ways as were capable of giving change or alteration to the least iota or syllable; so, by his good and merciful providential dispensation, in his love to his word and church, his whole word, as first given out by him, is preserved unto us entire in the original languages; where, shining in its own beauty and luster (as also in all translations, so far as they faithfully represents the originals), it manifests and evidences unto the consciences of men, without other foreign help or assistance, its divine original and authority (pp. 349-350).