A NOTE FROM THE FAMILY
Many years have elapsed since our father, Dr. Edward Freer Hills, has passed away. Yet our memories of him have not faded. He was a strong, yet kind man who, after making his stand, declined to battle his critics. Instead, he stood alone, living his logic of faith.
Since his death, the modernism and unbelief that our father had predicted has darkened into a post-modern Christian era characterized by humanism, agnosticism and atheism. Evangelical churches have experienced a steep decline. Faith in biblical doctrine has waned as mysticism and spiritualism continue to gain ground.
Meanwhile, textual critics have continued to search for more authentic manuscripts. In determining the reliability, they have utilized naturalistic principles to weigh internal and external evidence. The analytic tools they use also reflect these naturalistic principles. These tools are accurate checks and balances for determining the veracity of historical data.
But is the Bible merely historical data? Or is it the sacred text, inerrant and infallible? There is no real “neutral” stance. There is no middle ground for either perspective.
For unbelievers, the Bible represents, at best, a good book with dubious historical facts. For the believer, the same Bible represents the sacred text, inerrant and infallible. What separates these viewpoints?
Faith, through the working of the Holy Spirit, separates these viewpoints. Faith begins when one believes that Jesus Christ, the Son of God died on cross for his or her sins and rose from the dead. Faith, not historical facts, delineates Christ’s virgin birth, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven. Faith, not historical facts, defines the life of Jesus Christ as the apex for all human existence. Likewise, faith, not historical facts, paints the text of the Bible as not a mere human record, but as a sacred, inerrant and infallible text.
If one by faith believes the text of the Bible to be sacred, inerrant and infallible, one would have to believe that God has continued to preserve His Bible and its text throughout the ages. God did so, protecting the Old Testament canon through the guardianship of the Aaronic priesthood and preserving the New Testament canon through the universal priesthood of believers. The universal priesthood of believers represented rank-and-file Christians, not an ecclesiastical hierarchy.
Guided by the Holy Spirit, these early rank-and-file Christians continued to live by faith, spreading the Gospel throughout the known world. Their testimony of faith influenced the formation of the New Testament canon. Throughout the ages, their testimony of faith continued, recorded by the Church Fathers, noted by various historians, and witnessed through the blood of the martyrs, by the Protestant Reformation and in the doctrinal confessions that followed.
Throughout the ages the Gospel message has remained unchanged. Faith in Jesus Christ today is the same faith espoused by ancient believers. The continuity of believers’ faith assures the Christian today that Scriptures are indeed a sacred text. And if the Gospel is reliable, the manuscripts undergirding the Scriptures must also be reliable.
Thus preservation of the Gospel implies a similar providential preservation of Scripture, particularly in the case of the Greek New Testament manuscripts. Providential preservation, based upon the logic of faith as explored in the King James Version Defended, is a compelling argument for the Textus Receptus, the King James Bible and all other faithful representations of the Textus Receptus.
Finally and most importantly, the logic of faith offers the Christian maximum certainty in the past manuscript record, as opposed to uncertainty posed in the quest of a future manuscript record. Maximum certainty in the past manuscript record authenticates the death and resurrection of Christ and verifies the past testimony of the saints as they worshiped the risen Christ. Maximum certainty in the past manuscript record assures Christians of Jesus Christ’s future return and promises them that they will meet their Saviour at His Throne (Rev. 12:11).