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  "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
. . .  John 3:16  . . .

FEBC Faculty United on Verbal Plenary Preservation (VPP)

From Dr. Jeffrey Khoo, Academic Dean Far Eastern Bible College and Seminary

March 16, 2007

The original statement on the Holy Scriptures of the Bible-Presbyterian (BP) Church as stated in the constitution of many BP churches today reads, "We believe in the divine, verbal and plenary inspiration of the Scriptures in the original languages, their consequent inerrancy and infallibility, and as the Word of God, the Supreme and final authority in faith and life" (Article 4.2.1). Article 4.2.1 does not explicitly state or identify the Holy Scriptures in which we regard as the inspired, infallible and inerrant Word of God except that it is "the Scriptures in the original languages." This was because when the BP Church in Singapore was founded in 1950, the humble, God-fearing leaders of the Church generally understood the Reformed and Protestant doctrine of Holy Scripture, and there was no need to express more than that which is contained in the wording of the Constitution. It ought also to be noted that the attack on Scripture in those days concerned the Scripture’s inspiration and not preservation. However, in this modern age of confusion over the nature and identity of the Holy Scriptures, the FEBC found it necessary to state in no uncertain terms what it believes to be the Holy Scriptures, 100% inspired and 100% preserved to the jot and tittle (Matt 5:18).

On February 27, 2007, the lecturers of the Far Eastern Bible College (FEBC) reaffirmed unanimously their commitment to the Statement of Faith drafted and approved by the Board of Directors and the Academic Faculty in 2003. Articles 4.2.1, and 4.2.1.1/2/3 of the Statement of Faith as contained in the FEBC Constitution read:

4.2.1 We believe in the divine, Verbal Plenary Inspiration (Autographs) and Verbal Plenary Preservation (Apographs) of the Scriptures in the original languages, their consequent inerrancy and infallibility, and as the perfect Word of God, the supreme and final authority in faith and life (2 Tim 3:16, 2 Pet 1:20-21, Ps 12:6-7, Matt 5:18, 24:35).

4.2.1.1 We believe the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament underlying the Authorised (King James) Version to be the very Word of God, infallible and inerrant.

4.2.1.2 We uphold the Authorised (King James) Version to be the Word of God—the best, most faithful, most accurate, most beautiful translation of the Bible in the English language, and do employ it alone as our primary scriptural text in the public reading, preaching, and teaching of the English Bible.

4.2.1.3 The Board of Directors and Faculty shall affirm their allegiance to the Word of God by taking the Dean Burgon Oath at every annual convocation: "I swear in the Name of the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit that I believe "the Bible is none other than the voice of Him that sitteth upon the throne. Every book of it, every chapter of it, every verse of it, every word of it, every syllable of it, every letter of it, is direct utterance of the Most High. The Bible is none other than the Word of God, not some part of it more, some part of it less, but all alike the utterance of Him that sitteth upon the throne, faultless, unerring, supreme."

Not only the FEBC, but the International Council of Christian Churches (ICCC) in 1998 and 2000, the Trinitarian Bible Society (TBS) in 2005, and the Dean Burgon Society (DBS) have all found it necessary to state clearly the nature and identity of the Holy Scriptures that we have in our hands today.1 FEBC stands with them in their affirmation of the present infallibility and inerrancy of the Holy Scriptures, and the identification of the divinely preserved texts to be the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus.

We hereby beseech all Bible-believing Christians to affirm and defend the Biblical doctrines of the Verbal Plenary Inspiration (VPI) and Verbal Plenary Preservation (VPP) of the Holy Scriptures in the Traditional Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus on which the Reformation Bible, the King James Bible, is based.

FEBC Constitution Article 4: Statement of Faith

4.1 The Statement of Faith of the College shall be in accordance with that system commonly called "the Reformed Faith" as expressed in the Confession of Faith as set forth by the historic Westminster Assembly together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.

4.2 In abbreviated form, the chief tenets of the doctrine of the College, apart from the Doctrinal Position Statement of the College, shall be as follows:

4.2.1 We believe in the divine, Verbal Plenary Inspiration (Autographs) and Verbal Plenary Preservation (Apographs) of the Scriptures in the original languages, their consequent inerrancy and infallibility, and as the perfect Word of God, the supreme and final authority in faith and life (2 Tim 3:16, 2 Pet 1:20-21, Ps 12:6-7, Matt 5:18, 24:35).

4.2.1.1 We believe the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament underlying the Authorised (King James) Version to be the very Word of God, infallible and inerrant.

4.2.1.2 We uphold the Authorised (King James) Version to be the Word of God—the best, most faithful, most accurate, most beautiful translation of the Bible in the English language, and do employ it alone as our primary scriptural text in the public reading, preaching, and teaching of the English Bible.

4.2.1.3 The Board of Directors and Faculty shall affirm their allegiance to the Word of God by taking the Dean Burgon Oath at every annual convocation: "I swear in the Name of the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit that I believe "the Bible is none other than the voice of Him that sitteth upon the throne. Every book of it, every chapter of it, every verse of it, every word of it, every syllable of it, every letter of it, is direct utterance of the Most High. The Bible is none other than the Word of God, not some part of it more, some part of it less, but all alike the utterance of Him that sitteth upon the throne, faultless, unerring, supreme."

4.2.2 We believe in one God existing in three co-equal and co-eternal Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Deut 6:4, 1 John 5:7).

4.2.3 We believe that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, and is true God and true man in complete and direct fulfilment of Isaiah 7:14 (Matt 1:20-23, John 1:1, 14, Col 2:9).

4.2.4 We believe God created the whole universe ex nihilo (out of nothing) by the Word of His mouth, and all very good, in the space of six literal or natural days (Gen 1:1, Exod 20:11, Ps 148:5, John 1:3, Col 1:16, Heb 11:3).

4.2.5 We believe that man was created in the image of God, but sinned through the fall of Adam, thereby incurring not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God and that all human beings are born with a sinful nature and become sinners in thought, word and deed (Gen 1:26-27, Rom 3:19-20, 5:12, 6:23).

4.2.6 We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died a propitiatory and expiatory death as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice, and that all who repent of their sins and believe in Him are justified before God on the grounds of His shed blood (Rom 5:8-11, 1 John 2:2, 1 Pet 1:18-19).

4.2.7 We believe in the bodily resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His ascension into Heaven, and in His exaltation at the right hand of God, where He intercedes for us as our High Priest and Advocate (1 Cor 15:1-4, 15-19, Phil 2:9-11, Heb 3:1, 4:14-16).

4.2.8 We believe in the personal, visible and premillennial return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to judge this world, restore His chosen nation Israel to greatness, and bring peace to the nations as King of kings and Lord of lords (Jer 3:17, Zech 14:9, Acts 1:6, Rom 11:26, Rev 20:1-7).

4.2.9 We believe that salvation is by grace through faith alone, not by works, and that all who repent and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour are born again by the Holy Spirit and thereby become the children of God (Rom 5:1, 8:14-16, Eph 2:8-10, 1 Tim 2:5, Tit 3:5).

4.2.10 We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and to convict and regenerate the sinner, and indwell, guide, instruct and empower the believer for godly living and service (John 16:7-14, Rom 8:1-2).

4.2.11 We believe that Christ instituted the Sacrament of Baptism for believers and their children and the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, which sacraments shall be observed by His Church till He comes (Matt 28:19, 1 Cor 11:23-26).

4.2.12 We believe in the eternal security, bodily resurrection and eternal blessedness of the saved, and in the bodily resurrection and eternal conscious punishment of the lost (John 10:27-29, 1 Cor 15:51-53, 1 Thess 4:13-18, Rev 20:11-15).

4.2.13 We believe in the real, spiritual unity in Christ of all redeemed by His precious blood and the necessity of faithfully maintaining the purity of the Church in doctrine and life according to the Word of God, and the principle and practice of biblical separation from the apostasy of the day being spearheaded by the ecumenical movement, charismatic movement and other false movements that contradict the Holy Scriptures and the Historic Christian Faith (2 Cor 6:14-7:1, Jude 3, Rev 18:4).

1 See ICCC, TBS, and DBS statements as published in The Burning Bush (July 2006): 72-73, and The Burning Bush (January 2007): 36-39.

Signed:

Rev Dr Timothy Tow (True Life BPC)

Mrs Ivy Tow (True Life BPC)

Rev Dr Jeffrey Khoo (True Life BPC)

Rev Dr Prabhudas Koshy (Gethsemane BPC)

Rev Koa Keng Woo (Muar BPC)

Rev Stephen Khoo (Bethel BPC)

Rev Dr Quek Suan Yew (Calvary Pandan BPC)

Rev Tan Kian Sing (Berean BPC)

Mrs Jemima Khoo (True Life BPC)

Miss Carol Lee (Truth BPC)

 

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