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Section Four
Shlama Akhay,

Here is Section IV of Norton's book entitled "How we may know whether books which are said to be the Word of God, are so or not."

Three things need to be proved to make it certain that any book which we have now, contains, "not the word of men, but the Word of God," (1 Thes. ii. 13.) First, proof by miracles that God spoke by the alleged writer, (see John iii. 2; x. 38; Heb. ii. 3, 4.) Secondly, proof by the hand-writing of the alleged author, or other means, that the original copy of the book was declared by him to be "the Word of God." Paul gave this token by his hand-writing, in every epistle (2 Thes. iii. 17, 18.) Thirdly, proof that the book which we have now is the same book which he delivered, and has been copied and handed down to us without alteration. The first and second proofs could only be known to those of the first centuries. The hand-writing of the apostles, which proved the divine authority of early copies, soon perished. What we need now is clear and credible testimony that copies, which were in public and private religious use in the early centuries, when their descent from the originals could be traced, and their likeness to them proved, were by most, or universally, believed to be true copies of the books which contained, not the words of men, but "the words" of God. We need also proof that these copies of the first ages were in the following centuries, so exactly copied, that we are assured that the copies we have now, are exact copies of them. It is evident that if copies whose Apostolic descent was firmly believed and well attested in the first ages, have in the following ages, been copied in different places far apart; that, then, if the existing copies of these separate lines of descent agree, it is the most decisive proof possible that they must all have been most carefully made through the ages, or they could not possibly agree thus now. Proof of exact copying is essential to our knowledge of what the Apostles wrote. For as, when a witness lies, no one can tell when he is speaking truth; so, when the copy of a book which contained at first the words of God, is proved to be untrue in many places, no one can rely on it as proof of what is true, or what is false, in doubtful readings. Copies proved to be of true descent, and to have been exactly copied from the first, are the only copies fit to be trusted as witnesses on disputed readings; especially because the question at issue is, "What words are, or are not, the infallible words of God?" The exact copying of the Peshito-Syriac text is one of the things which gives it such great weight.

Messages In This Thread
Section Four - by Larry Kelsey - 03-03-2004, 06:38 AM
Part 2 - by Larry Kelsey - 03-04-2004, 07:21 AM
Re: - by Larry Kelsey - 03-05-2004, 06:09 AM
Re: - by Larry Kelsey - 03-05-2004, 07:01 AM
[No subject] - by Rob - 03-05-2004, 01:20 PM
Re: - by Larry Kelsey - 03-05-2004, 06:30 PM
Re: - by Larry Kelsey - 03-06-2004, 07:44 AM

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