Critique of Ambassador Bible College’s “Textual Position”

I saw a meeting on a schedule that is headed up by the president of Ambassador Bible College.  This is their “Textual Position.”  My comments are in parenthesis and bold.


What We Believe About the Bible

by Dr. Charles L. Surrett, Academic Dean

An often-debated issue in Fundamentalist circles these days is the matter of Bible translations and textual differences.(What could be more important than the issue of Final Authority?) This has forced all of us to become some kind of “textual critics,” in order to define and defend the positions we take. (I am not a “critic”, the word of God is MY critic in Hebrews 4:12)  This article is intended to clarify the position of Ambassador Baptist College regarding the text of the Scriptures. There is not room here to offer proof of all of our conclusions, but we certainly want to make them clear.(It’s clear: you’re apostate…)  The following is a list of six assertions about the Bible that we have distributed to our faculty, staff, and students, in an attempt to avoid the “pendulum swings” of extremism without compromising our beliefs:

  • We believe…

  • …that the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments were “God-breathed,” or given by the inspiration of God, resulting in a product that was inerrant and infallible in the original autographs.  (No scripture given… because this belief cannot be found in the Bible.)
  • …that God has fulfilled His promise to preserve His Word for every generation of human history, through copies and translations of those original writings.
  • …that inspiration applied only to the autographs,(Impossible.  Look at the context of 2 Tim 3:16. Vs 15 says Timothy had inspired Scripture as a kid.)  but that their words have been accurately retained through God’s preservation.
  • …that God has preserved His Word in the Masoretic Hebrew Text of the Old Testament (Baloney.  See what the Jews changed in Psalm 22 to get rid of the prophecies of the Crucifixion.)  and the Textus Receptus Greek Text of the New Testament. (Which TR? There are almost 20 of them.  This is the issue.  They have no final authority. They do address this later…)
  • …that the King James Version of the Bible is the best English translation available, not only because it is an excellent translation, but because it is a translation of the best Hebrew and Greek texts.  (Best according to whose standards?)
  • …that consistency in position demands that we use only the above-mentioned Hebrew and Greek texts and the KJV translation in our classrooms and chapel services. (See that word “and”?  That means that their own minds are the final arbiter between the two sets of authorities.  Practical Atheists.  Apostates of the worst kind.)

These six statements essentially explain the position of Ambassador Baptist College. For the sake of further clarity, some of them will be expanded here. Regarding the preservation of Scripture, some institutions that are considered Fundamentalist have disavowed that God has even promised to preserve His Word. Ambassador’s thinking is that this view is negated by Psalm 33:11; 100:5; 111:7-8; 117:2; 119:89-90, 144, 152, 160; Isaiah 40:8; 59:21; Matthew 5:18; 24:35; Luke 21:33; John 10:35; Acts 7:38; and I Peter 1:25. Since it is our desire to see the Bible as the only authority for faith and practice, (Which one? You have already stated at least 3 Bibles that you believe in.) we do not see how all of these passages can be “explained away” by those who reject the fact that God has promised to preserve His Word.

Regarding the choice of the Textus Receptus for the Greek New Testament, Ambassador rejects the Westcott-Hort theory of textual transmission, although we appreciate those editors honestly (W and H are some of the biggest liars ever.  For proof read Dean Burgon.)  acknowledging their own uncertainty by the frequent usage of terms like “conjecture,” “probabilities,” “presumptions,” “ambiguity,” “suppositions,” etc., in their explanatory notes. We have chosen to accept, rather, that which has been available to the largest number of believers for the greatest period of time in church history, which is the stream of texts represented by the Textus Receptus. More specifically, we use the text published by the Trinitarian Bible Society, which follows Beza’s 1598 edition and Scrivener’s edition of 1894.  (How do you get your definitions of the Greek words?  They will have to go back to unsaved philosophers and writers who wrote in Attic Greek for the definitions of Koine Greek.  That is how you screw up places like Acts 12:4.  The King James translators were one generation removed from the speakers of Byzantine Greek who fled the conquest of Constantinople in 1453.  That stage of Greek is much closer to the Koine Greek of Paul.  They would know the correct definitions of Koine Greek.  We would not.  Also, why Beza’s 1598 edition?  How many souls have been won by that?  What about where it contradicts the KJV?)  

Regarding the usage of the King James Version, we believe that it was very well-translated, but that the English language has undergone some changes in the past, (no crap, Sherlock) as is partially reflected in the fact that the KJV in widespread use today is not, in fact, the 1611 version. (When read out loud, the King James is the same as in 1611 minus regional pronunciation.)  Since English is a living language, the modern-day connotations of words such as “conversation,” “charity,” and (sadly) “gay,” is much different from their 1611 meanings. Therefore, it is wisest to consult the original languages, where the Divine intent is unchanged. (Baloney.  They can go to Greek words that have 5 different definitions.  This is especially true of prepositions.  No one thinks that “gay” in James means “sodomite”.  That is a poor example.) This will not refute the KJV, but will keep us from changing the meanings of Old English words to conform to modern usages. (Romans 12:2, anyone?)

Regarding our attitude toward those Fundamentalists who disagree with us, we believe that we should reflect the principles of II Timothy 2:24; Romans 14:1-6; Ephesians 4:3; and James 3:17. We recognize that, as servants of the Lord we “must not strive, but be gentle,” we must not “despise or judge,” we must “endeavor” to keep unity, and that heavenly wisdom is “first pure, then peaceable.” (That is devilish wisdom.  Paul and Christ attacked heretics their whole ministry.  What happened to being valiant for the truth?)  For example, as Fundamentalists we do not castigate the late C. I. Scofield or doubt either his salvation or sincerity on the basis of his Gap Theory beliefs of creation. (Scofield actually got the Gap Fact right.  See my article.)  We simply know that he and others of his era did not have the information to combat what they thought were conclusions forced by science and scholarship. (1 Tim 6:20, anyone?  Scofield was right.) Perhaps the debate on the textual issue will produce some “Whitcomb and Morris” of the Greek text, bringing to light information that will persuade Fundamentalists that the long-standing, widely-accepted text was actually the best one after all. It is our hope that, just as the mainstream of Fundamentalism has returned to the long-held belief in creationism,(Mainstream is wrong again.  Go figure…)  the same group will return to the long-held usage of the Textus Receptus. (You mean, multiple final authorities?  That is most definitely not the long-held doctrine of the body of Christ.)  In the meantime, we are willing to fellowship with those Fundamentalists who have not yet come to these same conclusions.


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