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How God Preserved the Bible

(Christian's Pocket Guide Series)

There is sometimes a gap in the teaching we receive between the inspiration and illumination of Scripture. The Holy Spirit inspired the writing of the Word of God in the first place and applies it to our hearts now. What does the Holy Spirit do in respect of the Bible between these two works? How do we know that the Bible we read today is still the inspired Word of God? Richard Brash grounds his answers to these questions in the doctrines of God and his outer works, especially providence, in this introductory guide to how God preserved the Bible.


This is a wonderfully lucid introduction to a much–neglected doctrine. It will help many to grow in their confidence in the Bible and in their adoration in the sovereign, speaking God.

-- Vaughan Roberts, Rector of St Ebbe's, Oxford and Director of Proclamation Trust

We who live after the history of special revelation that preceded the Bible and led to its canonical form rightly assume that God has preserved that revelation for us in the Bible we possess today. But not many Christians reflect on this assumption, and even fewer know how to defend it. In this slim but potent book, Richard Brash not only urges us to ‘mind the gap’ in our thinking on Scripture’s preservation through the ages, he shows us how to close this gap by looking to the teaching of Scripture itself. This book, written by a true pastor–scholar, will make you marvel at the wisdom, power, and love of God, whose written Word, like Himself, is everlastingly sure.

-- R. Carlton Wynne, Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I’ve been skeptical of people who make a doctrine out of preservation, because 1) all the people who do this in my experience have somehow also managed to wiggle their way into believing that God has preserved his word in a particular 17th century English translation; and 2) I don’t believe anyone has sufficient warrant to believe that he/she knows exactly which jots and tittles among all the New Testament manuscript variants out there constitute the preserved word of God—these 144,000, no more, no less. That is, it has felt dangerous to me to posit a “doctrine” of preservation—because if it’s a doctrine, then that leans toward suggesting that preservation would be perfect. And it clearly isn’t. Even picking “the TR” doesn’t give you perfect preservation. Somebody has to decide which TR to pick. The Bible doesn’t tell us. (Even the top TR defender I know acknowledges the truth of what I’m saying.) But Brash moved the needle for me. I'm willing to say there is a "doctrine" of systematic theology called "the preservation of Scripture." I wasn't willing yesterday. I am today, after reading this book.

-- Mark Ward, Ph.D., Editor in Chief, Bible Study Magazine

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