Science in Christian Perspective
Letter to the editor
Holy Spirit Validates the Bible
Dwight B. Mapes
12 Bedwell Lane
Bella Vista, Arkansas 72712
From: JASA 32 (September 1980): 191.
I am a new member of ASA and just getting acquainted with the Journal. I was a little surprised to find so much space taken up with the question of the inerrancy of the Bible. At far back as I can remember I have always been interested in any article I could find on science or philosophy. I came from a devout Christian background but could not see any reason for controversy between science and religion.
I have read articles on biblical inerraney for about 70 years and I find about as many interpretations of the word "inerrancy" as there are people writing about it. If the original autographs had been preserved for us in some miraculous manner. many people would he inclined to make them an object of worship. Instead God chose imperfect men with human weaknesses to copy the sacred writings by hand for more than a thousand years. It would be only natural for a scribe to change the wording slightly to better clarify what he thought the passage meant. When it came to translating from one language to another variations in meaning were bound to creep in. Thus the interpretation of the scribe and the translator cuter in to the wording that comes to us.
But what are words? Thoughts are not words, and words are not thoughts. Words are only vehicles to convey thought, and very unreliable vehicles at best. Every speaker or writer knows how difficult it is to choose the right words to Convey to another mind the thoughts that seem so clear and meaningful in his own mind. Regardless of how carefully the words are chosen, the thought which the listener (or reader) gets is influenced by many factors such as previous experiences, background, attitude, education and many others. The remarkable thing about the Bible is the way the Holy Spirit can use the words of the Bible to convey His message to the needy soul. It is not unusual to read of some discouraged, despairing souls, perhaps on the verge of suicide, who accidentally pick up a tract, or a leaflet with a few verses of Scripture and the Holy Spirit conveys the needed message to their heart and the saving, transforming power of the Living Christ comes in to their life. And what Christian has not turned to the Bible in a time of sorrow or discouragement, and as you read an old familiar passage suddenly a new thought-'a new meaning that you had never noticed before stands out clearly.
Thus the power of the Holy Spirit to interpret she Bible to meet the need of the reader authenticates and validates the Bible as God's Word more than all the volumes ever written on inerraney.