A Public Response to Mr Lim Seng Hoo’s Open Letter and
Non-VPP: Imperfect Preservation of Holy Scriptures
VPP: Perfect Preservation of Holy Scriptures
|VPP of Scripture is "theory."||VPP of Scripture is doctrine (Ps 12:6-7, Matt 5:18).|
|Only VPI autographs are infallible and inerrant. Bible perfect only in the past. Dean Burgon Oath refers not at all to the apographs, but only autographs.||Both VPI autographs and VPP apographs are infallible and inerrant. Bible perfect in the past as well as in the present. Autographs are fully/entirely preserved in the faithful and infallible apographs. The infallibility of the apographs is a reformed doctrine.|
|Based on logic of facts per se. No support from Bible whatsoever. "Without doubt, Almighty God could easily have given us a VPP apographs [sic] as well as made the autographs indestructible, but the evidence is that He did not!"||Based on logic of faith that rests on the Bible itself (Heb 11:6). This leads to the correct interpretation of facts or evidences. The Holy Scriptures (autographs and apographs) by God’s divine inspiration and special preservation are incorruptible and indestructible.|
|Facts say that Bible contains actual discrepancies. Discrepancies are found in 2 Kings 8:26 / 2 Chron 22:2, and 2 Sam 8:4 / 1 Chron 18:4. These are scribal errors.||Faith that is based on
the Bible alone (Sola Scriptura) says that the Bible is "perfect"
and "very pure" (Pss 19:7, 119:40). Discrepancies are only apparent.
There are no errors at all in 2 Kings 8:26 / 2 Chron 22:2, and 2 Sam 8:4 / 1 Chron 18:4 scribal or otherwise. "Let God be true, but every man a liar" (Rom 3:4).
|God’s Word has "built-in redundancy."||The Bible has no redundant words at all. Every word in the Bible is important (Matt 4:4).|
|God’s Word has "built-in checks" (citing out of context, 2 Cor 13:1, Matt 18:16, Deut 29:15), ie, Scripture corrects Scripture; rejects harmonisation of Scripture.||Scripture does not correct itself by virtue of its inerrancy and infallibility. Scripture interprets Scripture, and harmonises with Scripture (1 Cor 2:13).|
|"No single purified text." Therefore no perfect Bible today.||Every God-breathed Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek word is preserved to the jot and tittle (Matt 5:18, 24:35). Therefore perfect Bible exists today in all the inspired Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek words (not text per se) underlying the Reformation Bibles best represented by the KJV, not the modern Bible versions which are based on the corrupt and critical texts of Westcott-Hort.|
|"Of the thousands of extant apographa both OT and NT, no two are alike, which would mean … not even a single one is jot and tittle perfect."||Jesus in AD 27 held the OT apograph in His hands, and declared that it is jot and tittle perfect (Matt 5:18). Jesus Christ is true, not any "textual critic."|
|Cites for authority, many human authors and commentaries.||Cites for authority the 100% perfect Word of God—our only supreme and final rule of faith and life.|
|Contends for the "inerrancy of the meaning." "Whether we have all the original jots and tittles or not, every key meanings [sic] and salvation doctrines [sic] are [sic] entirely preserved!"||Contends for the inerrancy of the words. Meaning comes from words (how can there be meaning without words?). Every word to the jot and tittle is therefore preserved (Matt 5:18), not just "salvation doctrines." Every spiritual, historical, geographical, and scientific word is preserved.|
|Misrepresents by stating that "VPPism requires an inspired KJV textual criticism;" "VPPism requires … English as the singly blessed language of the Gospel;" the KJV is "absolutely perfect;" "it is KJV fundamentalism gone extreme." Creates a false dichotomy, "May we be Christians first, theologians second."||Absolute perfection lies only in the Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek Scriptures on which the KJV is based (2 Tim 3:16). The KJV is the best, most faithful, most accurate, most trustworthy, most beautiful Bible in the English language. Its "perfection," "infallibility," or "inerrancy" is only in the derived sense (as far as it accurately and faithfully reflects the original). The KJV is not directly, doubly or separately inspired (rejects Ruckmanism which is "KJV fundamentalism gone extreme").|
|Understands providential preservation in terms of general providence—non-miraculous.||Understands providential preservation in terms of special providence—supernatural and miraculous (involving God’s personal supervision and direct intervention). "By His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages" (WCF, I:8). Biblical preservation is God’s work, not man’s.|
|Perfect preservation is a "new doctrine."||Perfect preservation is as old as the Bible (Ps 12:6-7). "It stands perfectly written" (Greek perfect tense of gegraptai).|
|Psalm 12:6-7 means preservation of the people of God, not the words of God.||Psalm 12:6-7 means preservation of the words of God according to Hebrew grammar and exegesis (GKC, 440).|
|Falsely accuses VPP holders of saying, "the Bible was not kept pure in all ages, but only restored pure from 1611 onwards."||"The purity of God’s words has been faithfully maintained in the Traditional/Byzantine/ Majority/Received Text, and fully represented in the Textus Receptus that underlies the KJV."|
|The perfect Bible is found only in heaven, kept in the Ark of His testament (Rev 11:19), not on earth!||The perfect Bible is not only found in heaven but also on earth (Ps 119:89, Matt 4:4). "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matt 6:10).|
|The words of God will not be forever preserved. God’s words will pass away when the earth passes away.||God’s words are permanently, perpetually and perfectly preserved, and will never pass away. God will keep and fulfil every jot and tittle of His words both in heaven and on earth (Matt 5:18), and His words shall never pass away (Matt 24:35), "forever settled," (Ps 119:89), and "endureth for ever" (1 Pet 1:25).|
|Accuses VPP proponents of teaching an "insidious heresy."||Believing that God’s inspired Canon and words are 100% preserved in the original language Scriptures, the Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek words underlying the KJV is not heresy, but the truth (cf 2 Cor 13:8).|
|It is godly and scholarly to believe that the Bible is no longer perfect today. VPP defenders are divisive and unscholarly men.||It glorifies God and edifies the saints to believe that the Bible today is totally infallible and inerrant, pure and perfect in every way (Isa 42:8). Believes in Biblical separation from unbelief and compromise.|
|Unable to say, "I have a 100% perfect Bible today."||Can confidently say, "I have a 100% perfect Bible today that is absolutely infallible and inerrant."|
I am not alone in defending the VPP of Scripture. Hear from no less a stalwart of the fundamentalist faith than the Rev Dr Ian Paisley who, in his book My Plea for the Old Sword (KJV), wrote:
Divine Revelation plus Divine Inspiration plus Divine Preservation equals the Divine Bible. These all, without exception, cover the whole field of every Word of God. There is no such thing as verbal Revelation without verbal Inspiration and there is no such thing as verbal Inspiration without verbal Preservation. In all cases it is not partial but plenary i.e. full, complete, perfect. …
The Divine Revelation, put into writing the verbally Infallible Scriptures through Divine Inspiration, must have Divine Preservation in order to be available to all generations. The verbal Inspiration of the Scriptures demands the verbal Preservation of the Scriptures. Those who would deny the need for verbal Preservation cannot be accepted as being really committed to verbal Inspiration. If there is no preserved Word of God today then the work of Divine Revelation and Divine Inspiration has perished.
In such a case any Bible is as good as any other. Hence the multiplication and continuing changes of perverted English versions of the Bible on the market today.
Those who believe in a partial preservation are not much better. To say that God has preserved most of the Original Scriptures but not them all, robs us of every Word of God. Therefore we cannot live [by His every word, Matt 4:4]. This is but another way to pen-knife God’s every Word.
Those who do not believe that God preserved His Word are really going down the path of final rejection of that Book of which the Lord Jesus Christ said, ‘The Word of God cannot be broken.’ Thank God, no potency can disintegrate this Rock.
Dr Paisley went on to defend the VPP of Scripture and the KJV from Psalm 12:6-7:
Surely here we have the Doctrine of Divine Preservation divinely revealed. The preserved Scriptures cannot be lost or caused in any way to perish. As of the God who uttered them, so we can say, ‘Thou remainest!’
It is interesting to note that the new Bibles vary the words of Psalm 12:6-7 and so eliminate the testimony of that verse to the Divine Preservation of the Scriptures. They insist that the ‘them’ of verse seven is not a reference to God’s words but to God’s people …and destroy the text’s testimony to the Preservation of God’s Word.
God’s providential preservation of His own Word ensured that the true Scriptures were not hidden away in the library of the Antichrist nor in a monastery of ‘Greek Catholic’ idolatry at the time when Tyndale prepared his Bible. Faithful and true copies of the originals were at hand for the Divine Bombshell (Tyndale’s translation of God’s Holy Word into English) which would smash the Roman Antichrist. He translated into English the Preserved Word of God, not the Perverted Word of God.
A return to the Apostolic Gospel comes as a result of Tyndale’s work. A return to the Apostate Gospel comes as a result of the translation of Rome’s long hidden, perverted text and other such perverted texts in the Modern Perversions of the Scriptures.
The Authorised Version translated into English the Preserved Word of God and so preserved for the English speaking peoples of the World, the Word of the Living God, the only infallible Rule of Faith and Practice.
Can Mr Lim say Amen to Paisley?
Now, let me respond to Mr Lim’s open letter of July 13, 2005 point-by-point.
Mr Lim started by presenting a skewed version of my sermon: "I refer [to] your sermon last Sunday morning, which was diverted to promote your pet but unfounded ‘doctrine’ of KJV Perfectionism in its underlying Hebrew and Greek apographs (copies). Your two points on the assigned Scripture text are that 1) ‘judge not according to appearance’ means not by dress, good looks, and a good singing voice, etc, and 2) ‘but judge righteous judgement’ means to hold to ‘Verbal Plenary Preservation’ (VPP) of the KJV underlying texts." He then went on to present his "true exegesis" of the text.
First, let me say that the topic I preached on—"Judge Righteous Judgement" (John 7:14-24)—was not a topic I chose, but was one assigned to me. I indeed preached a two-point sermon based on the assigned theme, but Mr Lim’s skewed phrasing and slanted summary of what I preached do not accurately reflect my position on the VPP of Scripture, nor the tenor of my sermon. My two points in answer to the question, "How may we judge righteous judgement?," were (1) Do not Judge According to Outward Appearance (John 7:24), but (2) Judge According to the Word of God (John 7:16-17). I did not spend every minute of my sermon talking about my "pet doctrine" as alleged. I applied my sermon to a variety of issues in life. I spoke against the Hollywood philosophy that a good-looking outward appearance is the secret to success and happiness in life. I warned of how we as Christians are also prone to form impressions just by looking at a person’s external appearance, and thereby make wrong judgements. I cited Samuel as an example of one who made a mistake in looking for the "tall, dark and handsome" man among Jesse’s children to be Israel’s new king (1 Sam 16). I read to the congregation 1 Sam 16:7, "But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature, because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as a man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart." I also cited 2 Cor 11:14-15 where Paul warned against Satan who presents himself handsome and charming, not ugly and terrifying, in his efforts to seduce and deceive the unwary and ignorant, "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." (I expect Satan and his minions to be very unhappy with my sermon; but believers? Surely not!)
In my second point, I pointed out that the only way believers can make righteous judgements today is by basing their judgements on the Word of God. I then went on to point out that if we are to make righteous/truthful judgements, we can only do so if we have a Perfect Standard, and this Perfect Standard cannot be man and his philosophy, but God and His Theology—His Word! I went on to ask the question: "Do we have a Perfect Written Standard in the Word of God today?" And the answer is an unequivocal "yes" based on God’s unfailing promise of the infallible preservation of His words as taught in Ps 12:6-7, Matt 5:18, Matt 24:35, 1 Pet 1:24-25 and many other Scripture verses. The authority of the Scriptures is bound to its perfection, is it not? If the Scriptures that we have today are not totally infallible and inerrant, how then can the Scriptures be our only, final, and supreme rule of faith and practice?
In another letter to Dr SH Tow, Mr Lim's senior pastor, and the elders of Calvary Pandan BPC dated July 30, 2005, Mr Lim accused me of disturbing the peace of the Church, "As for disturbance of the peace, it was Dr Jeffrey Khoo’s sermon on 10 Jul … that really disturbed the peace and harmony of our Church. After the sermon, many were disgruntled and disturbed. I being just one of them." Is this true? Were "many" indeed "disgruntled and disturbed?" If so, precisely how many? What was the percentage of members who felt that my sermon was erroneous and unedifying?
There was in fact no confusion or chaos in Calvary Pandan BPC after my sermon. I have not received any protest from members of Calvary Pandan except for Mr Lim’s open letter of unjust accusations against me which he personally distributed and mass emailed to his church members and others. This he did without the approval of his pastors or the Board of Elders. Was Mr Lim’s conduct ethically acceptable given his membership vows?
Now, if the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin when the truth is preached, do we then conclude that it is disturbing the peace and harmony of the church? Must every believer "feel good" before a sermon can be considered "edifying?" The B-P Church has always preached the unpopular but Biblical doctrine of separation, has it not? If such an "unpleasant" sermon is preached, and some members of the church are "disgruntled and disturbed," should we then conclude that the preacher is divisive and unedifying? If we allow this, will we not create an ecumenical pulpit that will only seek to tickle the ears of the hearers? Is this not what Paul warned against in 2 Tim 4:2-3, "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth." May the Lord continue to preserve the faithful pulpit ministry of Calvary Pandan BPC and all Bible-believing and Bible-defending BPCs.
Mr Lim wrote, "The same verses [i.e. Ps 12:6-7, Matt 5:18, 24:35, 1 Pet 1:24-25] that you cited are also found in all the other Bible versions such as the Chinese United Version (CUV), the Indonesian Akitab [sic], The [sic] Thai Bible, NASV, NIV, NKJV, etc. Anyone reading these in those versions, if interpreting as you do, would conclude that it is their version that is ‘VPP,’ rather than the KJV."
Mr Lim claimed that he has read "carefully" all my papers on the VPP of Scripture, but I doubt that he has from what he has stated above. It must be underscored that VPP refers to God’s special providential preservation of every jot and tittle of His God-breathed Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek words, and not the translated words whether English, Chinese, Indonesian, or Thai. It is important to understand that the inspiration and preservation of Scriptures in light of Scripture itself (and accurately stated in the Westminster Confession) concerns the Scriptures in the "original languages" or the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament, not any version or translation, ancient or modern. Versions and translations can be improved on (eg, The Defined King James Bible published by Bible For Today is certainly an improvement on the 1611 and 1769 editions of the KJV), but not the original language Scriptures which God has promised to keep pure, perfect, infallible, inerrant, and authentical.
Do note that the NASV and NIV render Ps 12:6-7 quite differently from the KJV. They may have the same verses but they do not have the same words. Ps 12:6-7 in the KJV reads:
The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever
But the NIV reads quite differently, especially verse 7:
And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times. O LORD, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever.
The NASV also reads rather differently:
The words of the LORD are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times. Thou, O LORD, will keep them; Thou wilt preserve him from this generation forever.
Which of the above translated words accurately translate the verbally and plenarily preserved words of the Hebrew Scripture? I urge you to read Rev Dr Quek Suan Yew’s article, "Did God Promise to Preserve His Words?: Interpreting Psalm 12:6-7" for insights and answers. 
If we do not have a perfect written standard in a verbally and plenarily preserved original language Scripture today, there will be no way to prove which translation or version is correct; as anything goes. The NIV or NASV could be just as good as, if not better than, the KJV. Who is to say that the good old KJV is reliable and the many new and modern versions unreliable? Your judgement would be as good as mine. Man becomes the final authority, not the Scriptures. Please realise that the doctrine of the VPP of Scripture is the solid bedrock for the defence of the KJV. The moment we throw out the VPP of Scripture, we surrender our only sure defence of the KJV against the modern versions or perversions of the Bible. The devil knows this, and it is no wonder he is doing all he can to tear this doctrine down!
Mr Lim commented, "When the earth passes away, would not all that it contains including all material apographs also pass away? In these verses therefore, our Lord was not referring to apographs, but rather as the context clearly shows, to the absolute and inviolable claims of God and of the Son upon us, for Jesus spake ‘as one having authority, and not as the scribes.’ (Mt 7:28)."
According to Mr Lim, Matt 5:18 means that all the words in the "material apographs" would pass away when the earth passes away. Mr Lim’s interpretation of Matt 5:18 contradicts Matt 24:35 which clearly says, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Luke 21:33, Mark 13:31). Having created a contradiction in Scripture, he then attempted a "harmonisation" by spiritualising the term "words" in Matt 24:35 to mean the "claims" of God. I submit to you that the Scriptures must be understood literally, "words" mean precisely "words," not just "claims" or "doctrines," or "truths." Now, I do not dispute that the claims of God are inviolable, but how can we have God’s claims without God’s words?
Mr Lim is wrong to dismiss the apographs of the Scriptures, denying their infallibility and inerrancy. Please know that the reformers never thought of the infallibility of the Scriptures in terms of the non-existent autographs but the present and extant apographs. Francis Turretin (1623-87)—pastor-theologian of the Church and Academy of Geneva—wrote:
By original texts, we do not mean the autographs written by the hand of Moses, of the prophets and of the apostles, which certainly do not now exist. We mean their apographs which are so called because they set forth to us the word of God in the very words of those who wrote under the immediate inspiration of the Holy Spirit. 
In the final analysis, whether the "material" apographs (or for that matter the "material" autographs which we no longer have) will pass away or not is immaterial and not the point. What we do know for sure in light of Jesus’ promise in Matt 5:18 and 24:35 is that every one of the inspired words of the Holy Scriptures in the autographs and the apographs will never pass away.
Mr Lim questioned, "Was the psalmist’s love of God’s Word due to the purity of the apographs? And this Psalm, being written before the completion of Scripture canon, if VPP pureness (completeness, perfect to every jot and tittle) is meant, should have been the last book of the Bible. Is not the purity here rather the purifying effect of God’s Word?"
It is absurd for Mr Lim to suggest that I take the psalmist to mean that Ps 119 is the last book of the Bible just because he wrote, "Thy word is very pure." The psalmist was referring to the nature or quality of the Word, that it is pristine, pure and perfect in every aspect. This is also the case with Ps 19:7, "The law of the LORD is perfect." The words "pure" and "perfect" are adjectives, describing the nature of God’s Word and not simply the effect of the Word.
Mr Lim misrepresents the VPP of Scripture when he wrote, "For the KJV to have an identical apograph text to the Divine Autographs (Originals), in jot and tittle terms, would necessitate a second inspiration either in the copying process, the textual editing process or the translation process."
If Mr Lim knows basic theology and has indeed read my papers carefully, he would not wrong me by accusing me of advocating a "second inspiration" of the Scriptures. I did not confuse inspiration with preservation. Inspiration speaks of God’s miraculous one-time work of "breathing out" the original inspired words in the autographs in the days of the prophets and apostles (2 Tim 3:16). Preservation, on the other hand, refers to God’s supernatural and continuous work of keeping pure the very same original inspired words in all ages so that in every generation God’s people will always have every iota of His words (Matt 5:18).
The processes and dynamics involved in God’s work of inspiration and preservation are inscrutable and inexplicable. "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements, and his ways past finding out!" (Rom 11:33). I do not pretend to know everything about how God inspired His words, or how He preserved them. I simply believe Him—my Lord and my God—who is all-powerful to keep His words, His truths and His promises. I just take Him at His Word with simple, childlike faith, period. Bottom line is: "God says it, that settles it, I believe it." The logic of faith is precisely this: "The Bible says it, that settles it, we believe it."
Mr Lim believes in the partial or imperfect preservation of Scripture. But the problem with his view is that there is not a single verse in the Bible which says God’s Word is imperfectly preserved, or we do not have a 100% perfect Bible in our possession today. What we do find however is that there are many verses in the Bible which teach the perfect, permanent, and perpetual preservation of God’s inspired original language words (Ps 12:6-7, Matt 5:18, 24:35, 1 Pet 1:23-25). Please see George Skariah’s doctoral dissertation on the perfect preservation of the Holy Scriptures which offers a most Christ-honouring and faith-building exegesis and exposition of no less than 50 Biblical verses/passages that prove this doctrine (not "theory" or "heresy" as Mr Lim would have us believe). 
After arguing against the VPP of Scripture, Mr Lim says, "This does not mean that God’s Word is not preserved for us! They are in the providential sense!"
I had used the term "providential preservation" in my book Kept Pure in All Ages: Recapturing the Authorised Version and the Doctrine of Providential Preservation. Mr Lim uses the same word, but appears to understand it differently. In these days of deception, it is not enough just to know what is said, it is equally if not more important to know what is meant by what is said.
There is a recent book entitled God’s Word in Our Hands: The Bible Preserved for Us. The book title makes it appear that the writers believe and support the doctrine of the 100% preservation of the words of Scripture, but the contents of the book prove otherwise. Read my review of this book, "Bob Jones University, Neo-Fundamentalism, and Biblical Preservation" in the latest issue of The Burning Bush.  In my critique, I exposed why and how BJU and other pro-Westcott/Hort advocates do not believe that God will and is able to preserve perfectly all of His words to the last iota, that all of His inspired words will always remain available and accessible to His people all the time until the end of time. Mr Lim’s arguments against the KJV and VPP of Scripture are déjà vu, and not new to me. I have not only answered them in my above critique, but in two other earlier ones as well. 
Mr Lim quoted Burgon to argue that there is no such thing as VPP. He wrote, "Dean Burgon expresses it thus, ‘But I would especially remind my readers of Bentley’s golden precept, that ‘The real text of the sacred writers does not now, since the originals have been so long lost, lie in any MS, or edition, but is dispersed in them all.’"
We are thankful to the Lord for Dean Burgon for a number of reasons: (1) Burgon was a defender of the Byzantine or Majority Text which he called the Traditional Text over against the Alexandrian or Minority Text of Westcott and Hort which he viewed as the Corrupted Text and rightly so. (2) Burgon was a strong defender for the KJV and spoke against any revision of it. Although Burgon defended the KJV in no uncertain terms, there was a weakness in his defence of it. It is unfortunate that Burgon did not defend the Textus Receptus—the Greek Text underlying the KJV—as strongly as he did the KJV. That is the reason why he spoke in terms of the "dispersed" rather than the "received" text.
Why did Burgon have such a relatively low view of the Textus Receptus? Dr E F Hills—a friend and classmate of Dr McIntire at Westminster, a ThD graduate of Harvard, and a Presbyterian defender of the Textus Receptus—made an astute observation. He noted that Burgon was biased against the Textus Receptus because of his extreme Anglicanism which believes in the doctrine of apostolic succession. Dr Hills rightly commented that Burgon’s mistaken Anglican view of apostolic succession and emphasis on the NT quotations of the Bishops or Church Fathers failed him
when he came to deal with the printed Greek New Testament text. For from Reformation times down to his own day the printed Greek New Testament text which had been favored by the bishops of the Anglican Church was the Textus Receptus, and the Textus Receptus had not been prepared by bishops but by Erasmus, who was an independent scholar. Still worse, from Burgon’s standpoint, was the fact that the particular form of the Textus Receptus used in the Church of England was the third edition of Stephanus, who was a Calvinist. For these reasons, therefore, Burgon and Scrivener looked askance at the Textus Receptus and declined to defend it except in so far as it agreed with the Traditional Text found in the majority of the Greek New Testament manuscripts.
Dr Hills went on to say that Burgon’s approach to identifying the preserved text is "illogical." Hills wrote:
If we believe in the providential preservation of the New Testament text, then we must defend the Textus Receptus as well as the Traditional Text found in the majority of the Greek manuscripts. For the Textus Receptus is the only form in which this Traditional Text has circulated in print. To decline to defend the Textus Receptus is to give the impression that God’s providential preservation of the New Testament text ceased with the invention of printing. It is to suppose that God, having preserved a pure New Testament text all during the manuscript period, unaccountably left this pure text hiding in the manuscripts and allowed an inferior text to issue from the printing press and circulate among His people for more than 450 years. Much, then, as we admire Burgon for his general orthodoxy and for his defense of the Traditional New Testament Text, we cannot follow him in his high Anglican emphasis or in his disregard for the Textus Receptus.
Mr Lim without qualification said, "Textual criticism is not a dirty word or a needless science."
Textual criticism is not really a science. Subjectivity and speculation are part and parcel of textual criticism. Under pro-Westcott/Hort lecturers and professors in my Bible college and seminary days, I had studied textual criticism and even practised it. Has it been an edifying exercise for me? Not a bit! In fact, it left me with more questions than answers and filled me with pride because it made me think I had the intellect or intelligence to judge which part of Scripture is God’s word and which part is not. The principle of faith and doctrine is totally left out in the so-called "science" of textual criticism, and I found that to be very disturbing and dangerous to my faith in God’s Word.
The subjectivity and speculation involved in textual criticism made A E Houseman to comment that "A textual critic engaged upon his business is not at all like Newton investigating the motions of the planets: he is much more like a dog hunting for fleas."  Georg Luck of Johns Hopkins University rightly said, "our critical texts are no better than our textual critics." 
If I were to build my faith in God’s Word based on textual criticism, I would be building my house on sand and not on rock. Instead of subjective, speculative and rationalistic textual criticism, we should employ the Biblical principle of the VPP of Scripture to help us identify where God’s words are. Based on Biblical doctrine of the VPP of Scripture (Ps 12:6-7, Matt 5:18, 24:35 etc), I believe I am building my house upon a rock-solid foundation. Thus, I refuse to hear the voice of textual critics, but the voice of my Lord Himself in His forever infallible and inerrant Word, "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock" (Matt 7:24-25).
Dr Timothy Tow rightly used the Biblical principle of the glory of God to argue that the Bible today is perfect without any mistake because of God’s perfect preservation of His words.  Does it glorify God to say that the Bible is imperfectly preserved based on the so-called "logic of facts," or to simply believe what the Bible so clearly says about itself, that the Bible is perfectly preserved based on the logic of faith (Heb 11:3, 6)?
Mr Lim wrote, "As for clear evidence of textual problems in the KJV underlying texts, I here cite two (we both know of more, yet only one is needed to disprove the ‘Perfect KJV-VPP’ case)."
Mr Lim believes that there is "clear evidence of textual problems" in the underlying texts of the KJV. His "evidence" is "clear" only to him and all sceptics who consider apparent problems as actual problems due to their cynical approach toward the Scriptures. A faith-based, Christ-exalting, Biblical preservationist approach to textual identification does not see them as "problems," "discrepancies," or "mistakes" at all for they are not.
Mr Lim accuses me of using "a ‘spiritualising,’ non-literal, and liberal interpretation of God’s Word" in my attempt to harmonise or reconcile the apparent discrepancy in 2 Sam 8:4 and 1 Chron 18:4.
Harmonising the Scriptures is far from spiritualising the Scriptures. Contrary to what Mr Lim thinks, the harmonisation of Scriptures takes the Scriptures literally, 700 means 700, 7,000 means 7,000 in 2 Sam 8:4 and 1 Chron 18:4 respectively. Mr Lim dismisses my attempt at harmonisation by pontificating, "The obvious difficulty is that there are no groups." But Matthew Henry, the renowned puritan commentator himself, did not think such a harmonisation improbable. In his commentary on 2 Sam 8:4, he wrote, "The horsemen are here said to be 700, but 1 Chron. Xviii.4. seven thousand. If they divided their horse by ten in a company, as it is probable they did, the captains and companies were 700, but the horsemen were 7000." 
But Mr Lim dismisses such faithful attempts at defending the inerrancy of the Scripture with demeaning and conceited words which I do not care to repeat. His solution actually creates more problems because it looks like he agrees with the Westcott and Hort textual critical view that (1) older manuscripts are better, that (2) the old and traditional textual readings must be replaced by new and recently discovered ones, and the Ruckmanite view that (3) translations or versions can be more inspired than, and can thus be used to correct, the original language text.
Following Burgon, Mr Lim doubts the reading of Matt 10:8 in the Textus Receptus concerning Jesus’ commission to His disciples to "raise the dead."
Although we admire Burgon’s stout defence of the KJV, and his powerful offence against Westcott and Hort and their Revised Version, we do not agree with his relatively low view of the Textus Receptus. Unlike Mr Lim, we do not follow Burgon blindly. The reason why Burgon held to such a disparaging view of the Textus Receptus is already explained above. Burgon as noted by Hills was coloured by his Anglican bias, and hence became clouded in his understanding of God’s special preservation of the Scriptures in the days of the Protestant Reformation.
I thus agree with Hills that Burgon’s approach to identifying the preserved text is "illogical." Unlike Burgon, Hills supported the authenticity of Matt 10:8 because he believed that it has been "placed in the Textus Receptus by the direction of God’s special providence."  Calvin in his commentary on Matt 10:8 took for granted the authenticity of Matt 10:8, and had no problem affirming that the Lord "is quite deliberate in telling them to raise the dead." 
Mr Lim wrote, "Stop alleging that we say that the Bible contains errors!"
If Mr Lim does not say that the Bible contains errors, then why does he keep on arguing for errors in the Bible (in 2 Sam 8:4, 2 Chron 22:2 and many other places) when there are no such errors to begin with? If Mr Lim does not believe there are any errors in the Bible, then why does he say that the Bible has "built-in redundancy?" Why is he on this crusade against those who believe the Bible is without any error? Why are his words contradicting his beliefs and practices?
Furthermore, if Mr Lim does truly believe he has a perfect, infallible, and inerrant Bible in his possession today, can he kindly produce it? With his denial of VPP, I do not think Mr Lim can produce such a Bible. He does not have it. I submit to you that Mr Lim’s Bible that contains no mistakes is simply non-existent, invisible and intangible.
True Biblical preservationists can confidently say they possess an existing, visible and tangible 100% perfect Bible today without any mistake because of God’s infallible promise to preserve His inerrant Word throughout the ages to the last jot and tittle (Ps 12:6-7, Matt 5:18).
Dr Hills correctly observed that those who deny the VPP or special providential preservation of Scripture will not be able to affirm a perfect or an infallible and inerrant Bible today. Hills gave a very pertinent warning against those who ignore or reject the doctrine of the special providential preservation of Scripture:
If we ignore the providential preservation of the Scriptures and defend the New Testament text in the same way that we defend the texts of other ancient books, then we are following the logic of unbelief. For the special, providential preservation of the holy Scriptures is a fact and an important fact. Hence when we ignore this fact and deal with the text of the New Testament as we would with the text of other books, we are behaving as unbelievers behave. We are either denying that the providential preservation of the Scriptures is a fact, or else we are saying that it is not an important fact, not important enough to be considered when dealing with the New Testament text. But if the providential preservation of the Scriptures is not important, why is the infallible inspiration of the original Scriptures important? If God has not preserved the Scriptures by His special providence, why would He have infallibly inspired them in the first place? And if the Scriptures are not infallibly inspired, how do we know that the Gospel message is true? And if the Gospel message is not true, how do we know that Jesus is the Son of God?
It is a dangerous error therefore to ignore the special, providential preservation of the holy Scriptures and to seek to defend the New Testament text in the same way in which we would defend the texts of other ancient books. For the logic of this unbelieving attitude is likely to lay hold upon us and cast us down into a bottomless pit of uncertainty. ...
The Bible teaches us that faith is the foundation of reason. Through faith we understand (Heb. 11:3). By faith we lay hold on God as He reveals Himself in the holy Scriptures and make Him the starting point of all our thinking. ...
Like the Protestant Reformers therefore we must take God as the starting point of all our thinking. We must begin with God. Very few Christians, however, do this consistently. For example, even when a group of conservative Christian scholars meet for the purpose of defending the Textus Receptus and the King James Version, you will find that some of them want to do this in a rationalistic, naturalistic way. Instead of beginning with God, they wish to begin with facts viewed apart from God, with details concerning the New Testament manuscripts which must be regarded as true (so they think) no matter whether God exists or not. ...
Conservative scholars ... say that they believe in the special, providential preservation of the New Testament text. Most of them really don’t though, because, as soon as they say this, they immediately reduce this special providential preservation to the vanishing point in order to make room for the naturalistic theories of Westcott and Hort. As we have seen, some say that the providential preservation of the New Testament means merely that the same "substance of doctrine" is found in all the New Testament documents. Others say that it means that the true reading is always present in at least one of the thousands of extant New Testament manuscripts. And still other scholars say that to them the special, providential preservation of the Scriptures means that the true New Testament text was providentially discovered in the mid-19th century by Tischendorf, Tregelles, and Westcott and Hort after having been lost for 1,500 years.
If you adopt one of these false views of the providential preservation of Scriptures, then you are logically on your way toward the denial of the infallible inspiration of the Scriptures. For if God has preserved the Scriptures so carelessly, why would he have infallibly inspired them in the first place? It is not sufficient therefore merely to say that you believe in the doctrine of the special, providential preservation of holy Scriptures. You must really believe this doctrine and allow it to guide your thinking. You must begin with Christ and the Gospel and proceed according to the logic of faith. This will lead you to the Traditional text, the Textus Receptus, and the King James Version. 
Although Mr Lim says he affirms wholeheartedly with Dean Burgon that "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 the direct utterance of the Most High …," he concludes that "The King James Version is however not so."
It must be clarified that any "perfection," "infallibility" or "inerrancy" that is attributed to the KJV (and for that matter all other faithful and accurate translations of the Bible) must be understood not in the direct but derived sense. Dr Timothy Tow illustrates this point well, "The original text may be likened to ginseng, and its translation ginseng tea." 
Nevertheless, I do not think Dean Burgon would take kindly to Mr Lim’s disparaging remarks against the KJV. Hear the Dean’s unreserved defence of the KJV:
Our Authorised Version is the one religious link which at present binds together ... millions of English-speaking men scattered over the earth’s surface. Is it reasonable that so unutterably precious, so sacred a bond should be endangered, for the sake of representing certain words more accurately,—here and there translating a tense with greater precision,—getting rid of a few archaisms? It may be confidently assumed that no ‘Revision’ of our Authorised Version, however, judiciously executed, will ever occupy the place of public esteem which is actually enjoyed by the work of the Translators of 1611,—the noblest literary work in the Anglo-Saxon language. We shall in fact never have another ‘Authorised Version.’ … As something intended to supercede our present English Bible, we are thoroughly convinced that the project of a rival Translation is not to be entertained for a moment. For ourselves, we deprecate it entirely.
Mr Lim claims to "hold the KJV as reliable, trustworthy, venerable and beloved," yet he spares no effort to attack those who defend the KJV and its underlying Hebrew and Greek texts. If Mr Lim is truly supportive of the KJV, he should be spending his time and energy doing all he can to defend the KJV and FEBC against the attacks made by pro-Westcott/Hort anti-preservationists of the BJU mould. Sadly, Mr Lim does the opposite. Instead of defending his own, he does all he can to support the enemy camp and undermine the KJV and VPP Scripture held by his pastors and FEBC.
Mr Lim says "there are mistakes in the English of the KJV due to translation errors."
Please note that I do not hold to Ruckman’s view that the KJV is "doubly inspired" or "separately inspired" for there is no such teaching in the Scriptures. Many find it very convenient to hit below the belt by misrepresenting FEBC’s view of the KJV. This only goes to show that their arguments are so weak that they need to resort to such underhand blows just to get the upper hand.
Mr Lim believes "there are mistakes in the English of the KJV due to translation errors." I for one do not believe there are mistakes in the English of the KJV. David Marshall—Singapore’s first chief minister—who had for his English textbook the King James Bible would have dismissed any puerile criticism of the English of the KJV. The KJV was written in an age when the English language was at its zenith, and we today can learn much good and high English from the KJV.
Mr Lim is quick to criticise the KJV for its "translational errors," but I would rather not be so conceited and trigger-happy to criticise the KJV translation of the Holy Scriptures. Please know that the King James translators were extremely careful in their translation of God’s Word, and they have used at least one correct word, and at least one correct rule of grammar in their rendering of the inspired and preserved original language Scriptures. That is why "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 Bible" (Article 220.127.116.11 of the FEBC Constitution which was unanimously passed by her Board of Directors on December 29, 2003). We agree with the Dean Burgon Society that "we can without apology hold up the Authorised Version of 1611 and say ‘This is the Word of God!’ while at the same time realising that, in some verses, we must go back to the underlying original language Texts for complete clarity, and also compare Scripture with Scripture" ("Articles of Faith," Section II.A).
Dr Hills had wisely advised, "We must be very cautious therefore about finding errors in the text of the King James Version, and the same holds true also in the realm of translation. Whenever the renderings of the King James Version are called in question, it is usually the accuser that finds himself in the wrong." 
Mr Lim accused me of being "divisive, and self promoting … Brethren are falsely attacked, and the unity of our churches affected."
Mr Lim’s charge against me is both unjust and unjustifiable. His words against me are malicious. His senior pastor graciously gave him a chance to retract his statements but he refused. When publicly disciplined by his senior pastor and his pastor, instead of showing remorse he threatened them with a lawsuit. I believe Mr Lim owes his pastors and me an apology.
The Bible is the Christian’s sole and supreme authority of faith and practice. My faith in the present perfection of Scripture is based on the Biblical doctrine of God’s infallible preservation of His forever inerrant Word as taught in Ps 12:6-7, Matt 5:18, and many other passages in the Bible.
What is Mr Lim’s faith based on? On which book, chapter, and verse does Mr Lim base his doctrine of the non-VPP, imperfect, and partial preservation of Scripture? Is Mr Lim asking us to trust him and his scholarly judgement that there is no such thing as a perfect Bible today? I rather trust in my infallible and inerrant Lord and Saviour who has promised to preserve His infallible and inerrant words. I trust no man but the Lord Jesus Christ who "died for our sins according to the scriptures; and … was buried, and … rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (1 Cor 15:3-4).
It is never safe to trust in fallible men and their errant-prone commentaries, especially when their beliefs and judgements go against the clear teachings of the infallible and inerrant Word of God. We follow men and their comments only if and when they follow and agree with Christ and His words (1 Cor 11:1). I place my complete trust in Christ and Him alone, and I trust only the Bible—His Word—which I believe is not only perfect in the past (in the inerrant God-breathed Hebrew and Greek words of the autographs) but also perfect today (in the infallibly preserved Hebrew and Greek words of the apographs underlying the Reformation Bibles best represented by the KJV).
I appreciate the faithful and courageous words of Dr Paisley who believes that
in its place is an intruder—an imposter—a pretender—a usurper. 
this English Authorised Version is unsurpassably pre-eminent over and above all other English translations, … I cry out ‘There is none like that, give it me,’ and in so doing I nail the Satanic lie that the Authorised Version is outdated, outmoded, mistranslated, a relic of the past and only defended by stupid, unlearned, untaught obscurantists. …
I believe this Book will always be the unsurpassable pre-eminent English version of the Holy Bible and no other can every take its place. To seek to dislodge this Book from its rightful pre-eminent place is the act of the enemy, and what is attempted to put
Dear friends, it is not enough just to believe and defend the VPI of Scripture, we must also believe and defend the VPP of Scripture with all our faith and with all our might with God’s help. If we do not, the Biblical foundation of our Christian faith will be swept away by the destructive forces of unbelief and apostasy. "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Ps 11:3). Absolutely nothing! We would have no good news to preach to a lost world so in need of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour if He is not absolutely truthful in His promises, and if His words are not forever infallible and inerrant. We would also be exposed to the dangers of liberalism, postmodernism, ecumenism, neo-evangelicalism, and new heresies like open-theism and neo-deism.
Faith is the key to spiritual understanding. We believe in order to see. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom 11:17). "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Heb 11:6). Do not trust in the weak words of fallible men; but in the very powerful and ever perfect words of the Holy Scriptures, infallible and inerrant, 100% inspired and 100% preserved by its almighty Author—the Lord Jesus Christ—who is "the same yesterday, today and for ever" (Heb 13:8). We have an immutable God who has given to us an indestructible Word.
"He who hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Matt 11:15).
 Ian R K Paisley, My Plea for the Old Sword: The English Authorised Version (KJV), (Belfast: Ambassador, 1997), 102-3, emphasis mine.
 Ibid, 106.
 Quek Suan Yew, “Did God Promise to Preserve His Words?: Interpreting Psalm 12:6-7,” The Burning Bush (2004): 96-98.
 Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology (Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1992), 1:106; see also my paper, “Sola Autographa or Sola Apographa? A Case for the Present Perfection and Authority of the Holy Scriptures,” The Burning Bush 11 (2005): 3-19.
 George Skariah, “The Biblical Doctrine of the Perfect Preservation of the Holy Scriptures,” unpublished Doctor of Theology dissertation, Far Eastern Bible College, Singapore, 2005.
 Jeffrey Khoo, “Bob Jones University, Neo-Fundamentalism, and Biblical Preservation,” The Burning Bush 11 (2005): 82-97. Jeffrey Khoo, “Bob Jones University and the KJV: A Critique of From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man,” The Burning Bush 7 (2001): 1-34, and “The Emergence of Neo-Fundamentalism: One Bible Only? or “Yea Hath God Said?,” The Burning Bush (2004):2-47.
 Edward F Hills, The King James Version Defended (Des Moines: Christian Research Press, 1984), 192.
 A E Houseman, “The Application of Thought to Textual Criticism,” in Selected Prose, ed J Carter (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1961), 131-2.
 Quoted by David Alan Black, ed, Rethinking New Testament Textual Criticism (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002), 50. Timothy Tow, “My Glory Will I Not Give to Another,” The Burning Bush 11 (July 2005): 67-68.
 Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible (Wilmington: Sovereign Grace, 1972), 1:798, emphasis mine.
 Hills, The King James Version Defended, 200.
 David W Torrance and Thomas F Torrance, eds, Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries: A Harmony of the Gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke, trans A W Morrison (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972), 1:292.
 Edward F Hills, Believing Bible Study (Des Moines: Christian Research Press, 1977), 216-20, emphasis mine.
 Cited in Jeffrey Khoo, KJV: Questions and Answers (Singapore: Bible Witness Literature, 2003), 8
 John William Burgon, Revision Revised (Collingswood: Dean Burgon Society, 2d printing, 2000), 113-114, emphasis mine.
 Hills, Believing Bible Study, 83.
 Paisley, My Plea for the Old Sword, 10-11, emphasis mine.
The Bible For Today
For whosoever shall call upon the name
of the Lord shall be saved.
From the Authorized King James Bible