Redefining Inspiration: “Manuscripts and Composite Texts”

According to his bio, the author of this article, Rev. Alec Fisher, is an “adjunct language professor at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.” Textual work with the manuscripts is necessary. However, it is a pre-theological task and should not be used to weaken God’s Word or doctrine. God’s Word is pure, even if we can’t reconstruct a text to mathematical precision. It still is the foundation for all teaching, which creates faith by the Spirit—not logical certainty, but spiritual renewal in the forgiveness of sins.
The problem here is that the Spirit’s work in copying and translation is made to rival, or even replace, the initial inspiration of the prophetic and apostolic authors. He is using a different definition of inspiration than the standard dogmatic one: “inspiration isn’t just a one-time act. It’s a process. Modern translations—ESV, NIV, NASB, KJV, HCSB, NRSV, etc.—in all of their own variation, like ancient manuscripts, are also inspired. Otherwise, we wouldn’t read them.” That is false, since translations are not fully God’s breathed-out word word-for-word without possibility of error. We can judge and discriminate between them, because they are based on God’s Word—they are not the standard itself.
The old liberal canard “we don’t worship words on a page” misses the point. Who is worshipping ink and paper? But it has long been used to not take God’s act of giving the words originally seriously without error or human sin. Any amount of the Spirit’s involvement after the original giving of the words is not certain and cannot make human words divine. Without a full, initial inspiration, the Scriptures are not God’s Word, but man’s. “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (1 Pet. 1:21). —ed. Article