[sword-devel] Doctrinal Statement

Michael Paul Johnson sword-devel@crosswire.org
Fri, 28 Jul 2000 00:33:12 -0600

For what it is worth, I have dealt with this issue with contributions and suggestions regarding the World English Bible. Anybody is free to make suggestions, point out typos, etc. The content of the suggestions (not the suggester, whom I often know almost nothing about) are always judged against the Scriptures in the original languages. As you might imagine, we have gotten a variety of comments and suggestions, many of which had great merit. Others were rejected. Indeed, some comments contradict each other and reflect doctrinal disagreements among various believers in Jesus Christ. Some proofreaders developed very good reputations in the process, and others developed lesser reputations. In the mean time, we never had to deal with a detailed doctrinal statement. Indeed, really the only statement we enforced is that the Holy Bible, as originally penned by the authors inspired by the Holy Spirit, is reliable and is the Word of God. The rest, including the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the law of love, and the Great Commission, come from that.

It is interesting to me that people draw boundaries around their kind of Christianity based on intellectual agreement with a set of doctrines, but God looks for people who put their faith in Jesus Christ, believing in their hearts and saying that they do.

At 10:57 PM 7/27/00 -0700, Jerry Hastings wrote:
>At 05:25 PM 7/27/2000 -0700, David Burry wrote:
>>...In my opinion a more important issue (different but related) is whether there can be any kind of review or certification that the text supplied really _is_ Wescott and Hort or not (for instance).  True that is a lot more work, but accurately copying the original is much more important to me than certifying the beliefs of the contributor as acceptable or not.
>I would like to see a program for identifying, comparing and certifying texts.  A site could list data about texts, such as, CRCs, file sizes, number of words, etc.. A program could check a local text against the online stats for a "certified" file. That could help people to also know if they have the latest and most correct version. I would also like to take files of different formats, but claiming to be the same text and compare any differences. One software publisher may have found and corrected errors, even typos and OCR errors, that others do not know about.

This is a good idea. Note that I have developed a habit of digitally signing  and dating releases of the World English Bible using MD5SUM and PGP. It would be a good practice to do this with other Bible texts, as well, once we come to a reasonably high confidence in the integrity of each text.


Michael Paul Johnson                   
mpj@eBible.org    http://ebible.org/mpj